Of Rotten Kids and other things ...

That’s Grandma Figgy on the left, likely taken just after some sassy comment left her lips … It’s been a scattered week, but aren’t they all?  Recovering from my run was surprisingly less painful than expected, but I took it really easy anyhow.  No big outings, just puttering around the house and giving the boys a lighter-than-usual workload. 

I’ve been warily eyeing that monster called depression, who I expected to come bounding around the corner the minute the marathon was over, but so far we haven’t met in close quarters.  I saw him in the distance once.  This is good, though it makes me a bit afraid that I’m going to get blindsided.  One day at a time.  Chocolate helps, and I’ve been making steady inroads into the stashes hidden around the house :).


I had one major sad note this week though, and that was to find that one of my original Rotten Kids passed away on Monday.  This takes some explaining, I know, so bear with me.  Grandma Figgy (last name Newton, so of course I had to call her Figgy … ) was in her 90s, and had been senile and physically dependent on her daughter for years.  Before she lost her ability to hold meaningful conversations though, she was a delightful spitfire to the core.  She was one of my Rotten Kids.

It all started with a grandmotherly woman at my church named Jackie, who seemed to always have a gaggle of kids/grandkids climbing all over her.  She was the warmest woman you could ever meet, and had love to spare.  Her life wasn’t an easy one at all, and she raised her own kids alone, but her lap was large and her laugh infectious.  And she called all her kids rotten.  “Come here and give me a hug, you rotten kid!”  The word was always so wrapped in love that you had no doubt as to her meaning. We were all special.  Jackies kids.  I was 20 or so, but still considered myself one of her kids. 

I eagerly appropriated the term, and it wasn’t long before I’d started my own Rotten Kid Club.  My life had a good handful of older folks in it, and a few of them were especially feisty, fun-loving ones who never failed to make me grin.  They all had that indefinable sparkle that belied the heart of a child still lurking in their aging bodies.  They knew how to laugh, how to tease, and how to enjoy.  They were Rotten Kids.  I gleefully told them so, and they got a huge kick out of being part of my special group.  The only requirements were age (65+) and “sparkle”. 

I never had more than 8 or so on the list, and have only added to it once or twice in the last 10 years.  My Grambie was an early member, and she still lights up when I call her Rotten, though she doesn’t remember any more where it comes from.  She hears the love though, just like I did when I first heard it.  Once Rotten, always Rotten.  I think the Rotten ones live a bit longer than most too, which I can only attribute to their enjoyment of life, and refusal to get too uptight about it all. 

Grandma Figgy went peacefully, and will be greatly missed.  I can only imagine her coming face to face with God, and asking him where the Rotten Kid Club is … Thanks for being a light and inspiration my friend.