The Joy of Grandmothers

Remember when we were younger and we’d visit older relatives, well I remember all the boxes of medications on my grandparents bedside table. They would explain in great detail each ailment and what they had to take for it. They’d explain if it wasn’t for the doctor they would be at ‘Gods Door’ or ‘Deaths Door’ they were just happy to be at neither.


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Grandmothers in particular I remember hugging like no other relative. My grandmother in Dublin would hug us so tight that we could hardly breath.. We’d be enveloped in her enormous soft chest. She’d kiss our faces like she hadn’t seen us in weeks. Our eyes would be squeezed tight as her bristly facial hair, or beard as we called it, would brush our faces.

The truth is I was very familiar with beard rash long before any boy ever kissed me.

Now I find that I’ve grown into my Grandmother. I too have several boxes of medication on my bedside locker as well as asthma pumps. I too have a bristly chin, unfortunately I don’t have any grandchildren to torture with bristles. My sons are reluctant to let me kiss them, only because I can match them chin bristle for chin bristle.

I’m a regular at my local pharmacy, the young pharmacist, well he’s possibly thirty but when you’re my age thirty is almost juvenile is very patient with me and listens to my wittering, which is mostly about menopause and lip gloss.

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‘I’ve a new list’ sez I to him

‘A new one’ he examined it with great care

‘Shur I’m not well at all the doctor said’

‘You’ll be grand’ sez he

He disappeared behind the big counter giving me a chance to peruse the aisles of skin care and scents. I love pharmacies as much as I love stationary shops. I could spend hours in them just smelling, touching and rubbing all sorts of samples onto my hands. I have on occasion had trouble opening doors after one of my ‘lotion sampling sessions’

‘There ya go’ he placed the every growing bag on the counter

‘Do I have everything’

‘Whatever was on the list is in the bag’

‘The bone tablets’


‘The lady pills’

‘Yes’ he was beginning to grin

‘The anti mad tablets’

‘We don’t like to call them that Denise’ he was still grinning

‘The lip powder’

‘No. no lip powder’ he wasn’t amused

Well to be fair my grandmother managed without lip powder.

‘You’ll need to be careful when taking the bone tablets, read the instructions’

‘Yeah I know all about it, I’m going to shrink anyway pet, in a couple of years I’ll be in here standing at about 3′ tall dragging my arse behind me knuckles along the ground  with my boobs hoisted up around my shoulders’

‘You could do an hour in the comedy club’ sez he knowing full well the haul of medication I had would keep me going for a month before I added to the list. Not sure anyone in the comedy club would be interested in my ailments.

Unlike my grandparents I don’t think my medication is keeping me from ‘Deaths Door’ but without it my bones would crumble, my moods would be dark, hot flushes unbearable and my breath short.

Like my grandparents I’m grateful for all my medications and instead of burdening my relatives about my health issues I have you. I bloody love blogging.

The Joy of Grandmothers







    1. Shur he’s got a great selection there.. Oh lord can you just see me in the comedy club.. lamenting my ailments .. younger people would recoil in horror at the thought of what was to come..

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