Mere is many things to many people. She is 98 and continues to engage life with energy, grace, interest and love. When people first meet my grandmother, they notice her energy for life and her dress. I respond to comments like– “your Mere is always so well put together,” “she has got style!” and “does she ever not wear heels?”–with Yes! Yes! and No. She wins best dressed most days. The activity or list of things to do has no impact, whatsoever, on the outfit she coordinates for that day. In fact, I know that she believes that she is dressing for that day’s events. From her styled hair all the way to the 2 to 5 inch heels she coordinates with a dress or skirt and top, this woman wears it well. She can shop almost anywhere and the more of a bargain, the better. I have watched in amazement and curiosity, her ability to take a dress on a hanger that just sits there and stares back pathetically and transform that dress into one that shines and is proud to be on the woman wearing it. Mere owns style. Side note: To make her style complete, I must mention that she tops everything off with different combinations of earrings, necklaces brooches, purses.
Basketball. Mere can play basketball. I know this because she has played with me in my childhood-home driveway. The driveway court sat near the garage with the overhanging basketball hoop. The shade from the surrounding trees allowed for many hours of basketball with my brother and neighborhood friends. And then there was Mere. At the time, I was 12 years old; she was 74 years old. She stepped outside and walked towards us. My brother passed her the ball, knowing that she would dribble and pass with us for awhile. She was wearing her typical outfit– dressed to the nines. The sound of the basketball and the clack of her feet moving in their adorned 5″ heels echoed in the basketball court space. After passing back and forth with her for awhile, it was time to go inside. Probably to eat some cookies she had just taken out of the oven baked. In any case, my brother passed her the ball to make the last shot. She was standing in a place where the court bottle necked into a driveway, just big enough for a car to drive. She was well beyond any 3-pointer shot. She dribbled a few times and with both arms and a minor jump, threw that ball and just let it go. The ball swished through the basketball hoop in one clean shot. The basketball rim had no idea what had just happened. We just stood there. My grandmother let out a brief sound of laughter. Basketball in heels. Mere is the only woman I know in my life who can make that happen.
The picture that accompanies this story was taken a few years ago. Mere in my aunt’s Jeep Wrangler. Jeep Wrangler in heels.