Saturday, January 19, 2008

Used Tissues

My granny died early on Friday morning. She hung in there against lung cancer for many more months than we thought she would, and she made the whole family smile with every unexpected day she gave us. I mention her here mostly because she's on my mind but also because she reminded me the other day of one way in which she was a quirky and maybe even responsible consumer.

Mimi spent a significant portion of my lifetime with at least one of her 19 grandchildren in tow. And, given grandchildren's propensity to sneeze, cough, drool, spill, or otherwise smear liquids and goos on their faces and hands, Mimi kept a strong supply of blow your nose tissues on her person at all times.

The source and status of those tissues, however, we never clearly understood. From a grandchild's perspective, snot would fly; Mimi would dive into her purse; a white blur would flash through your vision; and a mysterious crumpled handful would glide back from whence it came.

We did a lot of wondering about that paper. Was she reusing it? Were there different compartments in the purse? Torn, wrinkled, dirty tissues in one and torn, wrinkled, clean tissues in another?

A few days ago, I confirmed an old suspicion. Mimi was lying in bed, and a few of us were sitting with her, joking about snow and sledding and big make believe plans for the next day. The laughter and the oxygen tubes were giving her a sniffle, and she needed a tissue. Instead of leaning over to the bedside table, Mimi reached up her sleeve, pulled out a strangely familiar-looking wad of soft paper, and wiped her nose. Sure enough, sniffle solved, she tucked the paper right back up the sleeve and continued with the conversation.

Tissue reuse isn't a big, high-impact thing, obviously, and Mimi did it much more for convenience than conservation, but I like the idea of making a little connection between Mimi and A More Perfect Market. I hope you'll forgive the stretch.

I send you all love and laughs and dirty tissues from Mimi. She gave me more than I could ever possibly use, and I'm happy to share.


Unknown said...

I, too, have memories of my Namma using her wad up tissues up her sleeve to the rescue. It is a sweet look back at wonderful grandmothers that have passed. I never met Mimi, but was able to meet one of her daugthers and grandkids and oh what a wonderful woman she must have been....
All my thoughts are with all of you, and always,Stacy Barrows

si said...

sorry about your grandma