This is my grandmother, Jean Marie Greene. She was the most amazing woman in my life and I love her so much. Yesterday, April 15 would have been her 82nd birthday. Fifteen days after her birthday, I turn fifteen!
As I aspire to explore the world I am constantly reminded of her legacy. She once told me a story of when she drove half way across the country before realizing that she didn’t have her license with her! That story always made me laugh when I was younger. She traveled all around the world, raised in Maryland, living in Paris, Japan I think, and California just to name a few. But she was such an adventurous woman.
She was the most beautiful woman in my life. She is my fashion inspiration and one of the reasons I aspire to be a fashion designer. She wore the most elaborate and trendy clothing (especially in the sixties!). She always wore ribbons in her hair, which I do quite often in memory of her. She had soft dainty hands, and the bluest eyes. When she was younger she was so fun and danced a lot and smoked little cigarettes. She married a soldier, my grandfather Robert, and had the most beautiful wedding dress that I hope to use as inspiration for my own wedding dress.
(Girl on the right)
In her last years of life she was just as amazing. She raised two amazing children and had five gorgeous talented grandchildren (holla!). She was an amazing grandmother, always so much fun. She would take us to the park, buy us ice cream. I remember a memory where I was at the store with her, my mom, and my two sisters, we were quite young and my mom wouldn’t let us get the Kid Cuisine meal that we really wanted, she always fed us really healthy. But when my mom wasn’t looking my grandmother put three into the cart and I still remember it like yesterday.
When I was younger my family lived in Portland, Oregon and my grandparents lived in Monterey, California. We would visit all the time and one time when I was around three or four we went to Disneyland and my grandmother brought my sister a tinker bell necklace she really wanted, and she brought my a Minnie Mouse mug, I would actually do anything to find another one, I loved it so much when I was younger.
Once she took my sisters and I to see Princess Diaries. I think that was the first movie I saw in theaters.
The last time she and my grandfather came to visit us here in Tennessee was about 2008 I think. My family sat on the front porch in chairs all day long; no one really said much- we just sat there enjoying each other’s presence. I had on a denim vest with an American flag on the back that I had since I was seven (I still have it in my closet and wear it!), my grandmother asked me to hold her lipstick for her so I put it in the vest pocket. But when my grandparents were leaving the next week I couldn’t remember when I put it. I remember saying goodbye to her at the airport; she smiled at me and said “I love you.”
That was the last time I saw her, it’s been awhile now. But she’s always in my heart. The following year when we were cleaning out her bedroom I found a necklace with an ‘M’ on it, both of our middle names are Marie, so I wear it all the time. The months following her passing I found her vibrant pink lipstick and applied some, I wore it all day long. I still have the tube- even those most of it is gone, but I always purchase a pink lipstick just like the shade that she always wore.
There are so many things I wish I could have asked her about her life, growing up, and becoming a woman- but I am so blessed to have two older sisters, a great mom, and my mothers’ mother to look up to.
So yeah, that’s my amazing grandmother Jean. Since you never got the opportunity to meet her I figured I’d share some of my favorite memories of her. I know she’s looking down on me and I live to make her proud.
Jean Marie Greene
April 15th 1932- April 2009