Today we laid to rest my paternal grandmother Vivian Guest Ball. She was 93. It’s been a great day hearing old memories, and believe it or not quite a few new stories (to me) at the funeral today with the Ball family. As I’ve thought about it the past few days I’ve realized Grandma Ball had quite the influence in my life, even on little things in life:
-I don’t use chapstick that often, but I will only use the original black label chapstick because it reminds me of Grandma Ball. Even the smell of it reminds me of her so even since I was young I would only use that chapstick.
-My favorite pudding is butterscotch pudding. Grandma would frequently make butterscotch pudding with a dollup of coolwhip on it. Delicious. Whenever Rachel buys snackpaks now she knows to get me a set of butterscotch.
-Arguably my favorite candy bar is 3 Musketeers. Grandma would always take me to Albertson’s and grab a 3 Musketeers bar.
-My favorite ice cream is chocolate chip. Russell’s chocolate chip to be exact J. The adults always ate Burnt Almond Fudge but the kids always had chocolate chip. The Smith’s brand Private Selection tastes pretty similar so I still buy that all the time.
-Grandma would always toast up her “homemade” bread (found out later in life it was Rhodes bake-n-serve bread but it was delicious all the same!), put some jam on it and cut it up into little squares and give me a toothpick to eat one square at a time with. So delicious. Still love toast and jam (Rachel can confirm it’s my go-to) but I haven’t cut it up in squares in years.
-Obviously I’m a sucker for Oreo’s. I’m a little curious how they kept their Oreo’s stocked with all the grandkids coming over and constantly raiding the Oreo’s in the cupboards.
-For the longest time my favorite restaurant was Tony Roma’s (probably still would be if they were around anymore in Utah). I know they ate there at locations around the world during their travels.
-I consider Diet Dr. Pepper the Ball Family Official Drink. There was always a tall glass filled with ice ready to be filled by the 2 liter of Diet Dr. by Grandma and Grandpa. They were expert fillers at getting the foam right to the brim without spilling over.
I can imagine many of these are the favorites of the other Ball grandkids as well. Certainly quite a few things to pickup over a lifetime of knowing her.
I have lots of great memories of Grandma. It’s interesting to think about the period in life when you know people. I was discussing Grandma’s life with my mom a couple nights ago and she commented how even from the time her and my dad got married Grandma and Grandpa were basically retired. It was fun today to hear mostly stories from my uncles of times growing up.
A couple other memories:
-Today one of my uncles mentioned some of her favorite scriptures. The one main one I always remember her commenting on was it said so many times in the Book of Mormon that if you keep the commandments you would prosper in the land (she knew the exact number but I can’t remember).
-She would always comment on “not if you go on a mission, but WHEN you go on a mission”. That was commented on a lot today as well and it was certainly a focus for her.
Grandma was obviously very caring. I remember the final week or two of 6th grade we had already moved out to the South Jordan house but I was finishing up the school year at Morningside. It was one of the last few days of school and we had a dance at school the next day and I was out of deodorant and was asking my mom to go buy me some because I didn’t want to be stinky at the dance the next day. My mom told me to just use some of Grandpa’s which I didn’t like because I thought it was gross (still do; not a fan of sharing roll-on deodorant even with a close relative). Being a whiny 12 year old I threw a fit and was sent downstairs to bed, tears flowing, knowing that the next day I would be rejected by all the girls due to my stench. As I cried to sleep, Grandma brought down to me a brand new stick of deodorant and a full glass of Diet Dr. Pepper. I admit, I “woke up” after she left the room and reviewed the AARP –brand deodorant and thought “What IS THIS?” However, I can tell you I’ve never been more fresh and dry than that day with my AARP deodorant. The dance was a success, and I used that deodorant until it was gone. Kind of a random story, but a great example of what Grandma would do for you.
A great woman and a great influence. I’m thankful to be part of her posterity.