IM071 – Feb 7, 1946
My grandmother died this afternoon in her sleep. Uncle Jim was reading to her and she just stopped breathing.

I’ll be honest: I have no idea how to feel about this. For the last thirteen years, I’ve thought of her as a mean old woman who said hateful things to and about her husband, her children, and the world at large. However, I also know she had a lot of baggage dumped on her from her own mother and her misfiring brain chemistry. People are complicated.

Grandma taught me about good books and William Saroyan. She and Grandpa took me to cool things, like Descanso Gardens and the Huntington Library. She saw a hell of a lot: she was in the Coast Guard during WWII, and she kept a Thompson submachine gun under her desk (she used it as a footstool). I’d much rather remember the woman who sent me letters and told me stories about far-off mythical places like Pennsylvania and Tybee Island. And that will do.

No condolences, please. Just be good to each other.