We’ve been using that pre-cooked Oscar Meyer bacon for about a year. I never buy the regular stuff anymore.. the pre-cooked is way too easy. Monday I was at the store and bought 2 packages of regular, full grease Oscar Meyer bacon. It just looked good and I knew we would use it for a breakfast or something else.

I decided to make pasta tonight and googled some recipes using bacon. I came up with this one from Weight Watchers (it was ok, and I used fat free half and half instead of the evaporated milk, which I’ve never had in the house..)

The kids were taking a late nap after a great time at my friend Stacy’s this afternoon, so I was alone with my thoughts and some country music when I opened the package.

And there it was.

There she was… my Gramma. My sweet Gramma Halpin, who would have been 86 years old today, the day that my sweet Kaity who never met her turned 18 months… my sweet Irish Gramma who has been gone from this world for only a year but gone from my life for much longer than that.

The smell of that uncooked bacon was overwhelming. I was transported into that cozy kitchen on Euclid Drive, excitedly helping her prepare an Irish breakfast… bacon and sausage, fried eggs, toast with real butter, and hot tea with milk and plenty of sugar. I have so many happy memories that took place in that kitchen, helping at the stove, doing the dishes, putting on the kettle, so many that took place around that kitchen table.

The last years of my Gramma’s life, she was gone from me. The woman I knew wasn’t there for reasons I will never fully know or understand much at all. I still hold to much of the legacy she gave to me. I chat incessantly with strangers. I love showtunes and old romantic movies and Christmas specials and Frito Lay cheese dip. I have skinny legs and a round belly (ugh. Thanks, O’Kelly women) and a screechy voice when I get excited. I am sarcastic. I like to cook and eat and have everyone gathered.

But there are differences. It makes me sad, that I have a legacy I need to run from and improve upon. I will never turn away my children, or their children. I will always have grace for the ones I love. How can I not? Such amazing grace has been extended to me. I still pray that Gramma, Betty, found it too.