First off I would like to start this post introducing myself. My name is Jordan Waite. I am a member of the renowned Terry family tree. Grandson of the infamous Marlene Terry and son of the merciful Gina Waite. Notice how I said merciful, this being the most valued trait my mother can possess while I am 17 years old and needing all the mercy I can get. I have wanted to write a nutshell post for a while. While thinking about what it was I wanted to write about, my mind vacillating from idea to idea, I always came back to the thought of writing about our beloved Grandma Marlene. The reason not being because she is the creator of this blog series, but because she played such an important role in the early years of my life.
Grandma and I had many similar interests. I think this is why we got along as well as we did. Whenever I had the privilege to spend time with my Grandma we both spent the entirety of our time together laughing and smiling. Whether it be discussing the latest “Star Trek” movie or simply eating some cookies together, we always had a fantastic time. We were able to share several evenings like these where we had nothing but a great time in each others company. My Grandma always made me feel very special and made a concentrated effort to recognize the things I was interested in and loved. Every Christmas a beautifully wrapped present (with paper that represented who I was at the time, and the gift a reflection of her effort in finding out what I liked and had a passion for) AND every Halloween, a custom-made costume!
Whenever I think about Grandma, there is one specific memory that always comes to mind...our shared love for the “Pirates of the Caribbean” movies! One particular Halloween...she fashioned a Jack Sparrow costume for me, complete with swashbuckling boots and dreadlock-enhanced wig! My Grandma was such a fun-loving, adventurous spirit and her love of the Silver Screen was contagious! She once traveled 4 hours (after working a 12 hour day) just to attend one of the premieres of the "Pirates" movies with me. Once she arrived we hopped into my family's van and we were on our way! I vividly remember sitting in my van, tightly packed, journeying to the movie theater where we could escape from our Idaho lives to the adventurous lives of our favorite pirates. Of course, Grandma and I had to sit next to each other so we ended up sitting in the back of the van as we chatted excitedly about the movie to come. I remember my mother calling to the back asking us why we wanted to sit in the back. My sometimes annoyingly quick wit and even quicker mouth instantly said back “Mom, the back is where they put all the rum!”. After the initial shock of the humor of what I had said, Grandma and I burst into laughter, and continued to snicker about the joke for the rest of the night!
“The back is where they put all the rum”. That would be an ongoing inside joke between my Grandma and me for the rest of our earthly relationship. I will never forget the interactions and experiences I had with my Grandma. Most especially, I will never forget the joy she seemingly radiated whenever she saw one of her grandchildren. The passing of such an inspirational and loved woman in my life was definitely an obstacle...that continues to be very difficult for me! But as I reflect on the fun-loving, adventurous spirit that my Grandma was I think I know why it is she left us so quickly. She realized where it is they kept the rum.
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