Thursday, September 2, 2010

Katherine Marie Stockoff Maestre, 12/28/16-9/1/10

Yesterday my grandmother died. I want to celebrate and share with you my "Tutu"'s life and how she contributed to making me the person I am today.

It's funny, because I never really realized how much she had influence me until the last couple years. I feel fortunate that I had the opportunity to tell her how grateful I am that she was my grandmother last year on my birthday. Here is a photo of us on my 43rd birthday

Tutu and I on my 43rd birthday in Las Vegas. She didn't want to take the photo because she told me "I look a mess, I wasn't expecting pictures."

I grew up calling my grandmother "Tutu". "Tutu" is Hawaiian for "grandmother." My grandmother was obsessed with Polynesian culture, like many post WW2 women. Before I was born, she took up Polynesian dancing as a hobby. Growing up, it was tradition for us to drive up to Walnut Creek to attend her dance recital in a large school gymnasium. My father said he was always a bit ashamed that my grandmother was a bit larger than the other women, but I always admired the fact she didn't care. She was having fun and that was all that mattered. She did the dancing for over 30 years. 

Tutu always had her eyebrows, lipstick and fingernails done. She told a great story about how when she was first dating my grandfather, she had purchased a fingernail polish called "Dragon's Blood." My grandfather told her "My mother would NEVER wear nail polish like that!" His mother was a St. Louis society woman, and very conservative. Well, when my grandmother was introduced to her future mother-in-law, of course the mother-in-law was wearing Dragon's Blood!
Travelling the world was one of Tutu's favorite things. She would make good friends and maintain those relationships. She would have visitors from all over and she would travel to different places and visit people. Her example is a big contributor to why my house is open to visitors from everywhere, that I have met at weekenders and shows I have attended. 

Tutu also shared with me her love of Elvis. When most parents of her generation thought Elvis would corrupt their children, my grandmother was running out and buying up all the new rock and roll records she could find. She didn't stay with the current music after the 1960s, but she always loved Elvis. When my father had told her that her 7 year old granddaughter had discovered his Elvis LP and wanted to listen to it all the time, she made me cassette tapes and gave me a cassette tape player to listen to Elvis. I spend hours dancing around and singing to those tapes when I was 7 and 8. She also promised to take me to see Elvis at one of his Vegas dinner shows when I was 12. I was riding in the car with her in San Diego, during one of our summer trips together when we heard on the radio Elvis had died. I can think of no other person in my 10 year old life that I would rather be with to hear that news.

Up until the end Tutu kept up her traveling and friendships. 2 weeks ago she visited a friend in San Diego, and had a trip to Hawaii planned in October to visit a friend. I am not sure, but I think that would have been her 39th or 40th trip to Hawaii.

I wanted to scan some pictures of Tutu, but I don't have a scanner. Maybe I will do that this weekend. Thanks for reading this. 

The last photo of Tutu with the Family


Hell's Belle said...

What a nice tribute Kim, she sounds like a wonderful lady! Thank you for sharing her with us!

Miss Dollie DeVille said...

I am so sorry Kim. My thoughts are with you and your family. Thank you for sharing her story with us.

Lots of love,

Welcome to DeluxeVille said...

Kim, I'm sorry to hear about your loss. Tutu sure was something else! I enjoyed reading about her.

All the best,

Zootsuitmama said...

What a cool grandma. I lost mine when I was in the 7th grade and it was the worst day of my life. She was my age (56). It makes me feel so good to know family is still important, and your post was very special. So sorry for your loss, but it sounds like you and Tutu did a lot of livin' and lovin' while she was here. Zootsuitmama

Straight Talking Mama! said...

So sorry to hear about your loss, she sounds like quite a lady!

Gabriella said...

I'm so sorry to hear about your grandmother. Thanks for sharing a bit of her life with us. She sounds wonderful. I'm sending you big hugs.

'The Girl Can't Help It' said...

Sorry to hear about your Tutu. She sounded like a fabulous woman. Lucky you for having her and thanks for sharing.

Lady Betty said...

My deepest sympathies for the loss of your Tutu. Your tribute to her was lovely and truly touching. She sounds like she was such a classy and beautiful lady. It always sounds like she was quite a strong spirit!

My husband's bubbe was the same way. Always so well-dressed, classy, and loved to travel. Her apartment in Boca Raton was filled with so many memories of the exotic places she had visited.

Again, my most sincere sympathies, Kim. Take care.


Anonymous said...

I am so sorry about your loss. She sounds like a special woman. A woman that we could all emulate. :)

Thank you for sharing her story with us...

JoAnn said...

Beautiful memories of your Tutu. So enjoyed reading them. My Grandmas are long gone but they never leave my heart.

59KUSTOM said...

My condolences. Sounds like you've got some great memories of a great lady.

Miss Tayva said...

I'm so sorry that she passed on. What a remarkable woman! Sounds like she lived an amazing life!

Dolly Cool Clare said...

What an facinating grandmother you had. Condolances for your loss x

The Black Opal said...

Dear Kim, what a wonderful story and what a life your Grandmother had! It seems that she lived to the fullest and enjoyed most of it! I am so sorry she passed, but she will always be with you in all of your memories of the times you have spent together.


Sarsaparilla said...

I'm just catching up on my blog reading today - and was so sorry to hear about your grandmother passing away. But what wonderful memories you have! And it's obvious what a tremendous influence she has had on your life.

Take care,


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