Sisters Reunited

My grandma’s sister, my Great Aunt Sissy, passed away last week. She was a lively, statuesque, fun-loving woman with round moon-shaped cheeks and an easy laugh. She and my Gram were the best of friends. I remember that whenever they were together they would laugh and laugh- laughing until they were crying and one was shouting, “I’m going to pee my pants!” And as my Mom likes to say, later in life one of them inevitably did pee their pants. They grew up Chicago in an Irish Catholic clan. Sissy was always called Sissy even though her name is Irene and Gram was called May even though her name was Marion.

I grew up eating what everyone in my family called “Sissy’s Chicken”. It’s basically a chicken casserole made with cream of mushroom soup, cheese, broccoli and bread crumbs. There’s some mayonnaise in there too but what can you expect from an old recipe? It’s served with mashed potatoes (of course, we’re Irish) and biscuits. Last night my family gathered to honor her in our own way since we couldn’t fly back to Chicago for the service. We looked at old photos and dined on Sissy’s Chicken.

It’s been over 10 years  since my Grandma passed and I still miss her. I hope she and Sissy are up in heaven having a vodka tonic and toasting to being together again. Maybe my Dad is there too and they are all laughing til the tears stream down their cheeks.

My Grandma, Marion, on the left and her sister, Irene, who was affectionately known as Sissy.

Hopefully you can’t pee your pants in heaven.


18 thoughts on “Sisters Reunited

  1. I know they are all together having a party and happy to be reunited. Awesome way to remember them. I’ll bet if you do pee your pants in Heaven it dries fast. 🙂

  2. I love looking at old b&w pictures and imagining how life was back then. Wouldn’t it be grand if we could travel back in time for the day and experience it first hand?
    Hugs to you for your loss.

  3. I’m s sorry for your loss. What a great photo. I think your Grandma looked a little bit like Reese Witherspoon!

  4. What a lovely story! Your grandma and Sissy sound amazing. I love having people like that in my life – lively and fun. My husband did not have grandparents like that. When he met mine, and saw how active and with it they are, he was shocked!

  5. “Hopefully you can’t pee your pants in heaven.”

    For all of our sakes, I hope that’s true. Great Aunts are such a blessing. I know I just adored mine.

    Thank you for sharing this here – it definitely got me thinking tonight and gave me more than a few smiles.

  6. It’s so inspiring to see how sassy and wonderful our relatives were, isn’t it? I like to say I come from a long line of sass – sounds like you do too!

    You and your family are in my thoughts.

  7. Such great memories, and what an appropriate send off for your great aunt.

    I love that you have memories of family members that go so deep into your family tree. That’s a wonderful gift to hold dear.

  8. What a sweet and thoughtful tribute! I’m so sorry for your loss, but thank you for sharing the memories of your grandma and her sister. Thinking of you!

  9. I miss having my grandparents around. It does make me think often about my daughter’s interactions with her own grandparents.

    It is so great how certain things such as Sissy Chicken live on through all the years.

  10. Um, I cried reading this. I am so sorry for your loss. But I have to grandma’s name was Marion too!!!!! The one I write about quite often (when I’m updating, that is)…. unusual name for the time period since it was a man’s name. Anyway, I still really miss my grandma, too, but I like to think she knows that and watches over me. Must be something about those Marions. Hearts to you.

  11. I still miss my Grandma, and she passed when I was only 16. Also? Her name was Irene. 🙂 Love that name! I think it will make a lovely middle name for my (potential) future (maybe) daughter.

  12. Your last line killed me. I hope the same thing, for my small-bladdered mother’s sake…

    Grandmas are the best, and it’s heartbreaking when they’re gone. Wait until you get married, you’re going to miss her more than ever.

    I love that you have memories of Sissy and May giggling together. Those are priceless. And that casserole sounds seriously delicious to me!

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