Amazing Kids! Magazine

Grandma’s Grand Party

By Tyler Tritsch


Murmurs and smiles fill the air. Everyone is in the fanciest clothes, but some are also huddled in casual coats. I walk inside and scrape the ice off the bottom of my shoes. Sounds of excitement ricochet off the poorly designed walls. Throughout the room I see joyous expressions from four-year-old children and their grandparents. It appears that today is a day where all family feuds are behind us. Today is a celebration day. Today is Grandma’s grand birthday. Today she is 100.

As I scope out the foyer and peek down the halls at Clovernook Country Club, I faintly hear the sound of a sweet old voice. “My favorite boy!” the voice sounds. The voice is my great-grandma’s. I am the favorite boy. I turn around and give her a gentle hug. When I take my first glance at her, I realize it has been a few months since I have seen her last. She is holding a drink that is likely not very healthy for someone of her age, but it does not matter. It is her party. Her face has a hint of red like an early autumn leaf. Her perplexion seems unchanged. Her teeth appear white and bright as always as she beams her loving smile. Perhaps Grandma’s teeth are not teeth but dentures. Although she is healthy, that would not be a surprise for someone who’s 100 years younger. Her wig of white curls is placed perfectly atop her head. The color of her wig is the reason why some call her “Grandma Marshmallow.” To me, however, she was always Grandma. She will always be Grandma.

Seeing her stand there next to her younger sister as the center of attention makes me realize how much my grandma means to me. I realize that I do not know much about my grandma Marcella’s life although I know the person she is now very well. However, I do wonder sometimes what the life that she lived was like in her younger years. I know that even when she might not be feeling her best, she will always be able to laugh herself through the day. It takes a special person to do that. Especially at her age, it is incredible that someone living by herself can have that much emotion. Her emotion gives her a special personality. As I think some more, I realize she is able to stay connected with herself inside because of her connection with God and love for her family members.

Grandma has four daughters, and through them I know and understand Grandma best. As I look around, I see all of them: my nana Joanne, Linda, Kathy, and Diane. I realize that each one of them became who she was because of Grandma. Marcella was the one who had raised her four girls. The way she lived her life has impacted her children the most. Nana, my literal grandmother, is the one I know best. Nana is an incredible person. She is willing to talk with anyone, and she’s willing to give up anything to help others. In fact, Nana is so charitable that she spends many hours working at a pregnancy center in downtown Cincinnati. Nana is someone who would never mean to hurt anyone and will talk and talk until she can get you to laugh.

Linda is another one of Grandma’s daughters. Linda may be the mellowest of the siblings, but she is also the most compassionate. Although she is only my great-aunt, she offers to attend my baseball or basketball games and often cheers me on. Linda may be a bit quieter than Joanne, but she has very intelligent things to say. My great-aunt Linda is a very special person.

Kathy happens to be the sportiest of the four. She spends much time at the University of Cincinnati’s football games and even attends some basketball games. This is the great-aunt of mine that I can have a conversation about sports with because she understands the games. Kathy would also claim the prize of the wittiest sister. She is as lighthearted as can be. Every time you see this particular Folks sister, it is certain that there is a trick up her sleeve. Kathy could be described as childlike with her passion for sports and tricks.

Marliene is the wildest sibling by far. Although I know her the least, I have heard berserk stories about her. Marliene has been described as loud, nuts, and wild. Above all, she is a pleasure to be around. Nobody that is 70 years of age can bring life to the party quite like Marliene. My nana says that whenever Marliene opens her mouth, it is unpredictable what she will say. Sometimes it can be hard to have a merry time without someone as unpredictable as Marliene. She proves that being wild and unpredictable makes a human significant.

Now I take a seat with the other children at the supper table. I again look at the heartfelt view of my jubilant family members. My eyes light up. A sudden thought causes me to sit up straight in my chair. I realize I know exactly what Grandma must have been like in her younger years. I know because she has impacted her children so much that I can see noticeable sides of Grandma through them. She was a generous, compassionate, and talkative sports fan with a wild mind of her own. I now grasp the fact that Grandma has positively impacted everyone’s life at the party. That is including my own. It is hard for someone not to appreciate the way Grandma has changed our lives.

Thinking back to my week at school and my Saturday afternoon spent with friends, I am not able to identify a specific moment where I have changed another’s life. On the inside, I’m embarrassed by the fact that I haven’t had much of an effect on another’s life. I wonder what my purpose of being on earth is if I cannot steer others in the correct direction—although I understand I may never be as great as Grandma.

Today is Grandma’s grand party. Today she is 100. Today she has become my inspiration.

Written in Memory of Marcella Folks



  1. Ann Kotes /

    Hello Tyler: Your Grandpa Jerry shared your amazing story with me. I had the pleasure of working with him while he was at Rite-Hite. What a beautiful tribute to your great Grandma. Your story is truly an inspiration to me. What a special gift you have Tyler. Keep up the good work! Congratulations.

    Ann Kotes

  2. luke motto /

    this was magnificent i love you tyler

  3. Barbara Lancor /

    Wow! I’m having a hard time reading what I’m typing because of the tears in my eyes right now. What a beautiful tribute to a special woman from a remarkable boy. Tyler Tristch – you just became my inspiration! Thank you!

  4. Gary Neuman /

    Tyler this is an awesome story. Your Grandma was one of a kind. She certainly loved all of her grandchildren and especially her four daughters. What a luck guy you were to have spent some time with her. She is someone you will never forget.

    Great job Tyler.

    Uncle Gary