Grandma Vegas Everywhere

My grandmother, Dolly Cecelia Mills, went to be with the Lord on April 21, 2005 in Las Vegas, Nevada. She was born with her twin sister, Delores who preceded her in death at age 16. She married Alton J. Mills and lived in New Orleans before settling in Las Vegas for over 40 years. Dolly was a homemaker who also cared for children as a nanny. She loved to shop and could never pass up a bargain! She was a devoted wife, loving mother, grandmother and great-grandmother. She was a blessing to all who knew her.

This is a poem I wrote in her honor. If you never knew my grandmother, it may not make much sense to you, but to those of us who knew her and loved her, each image will be cherished in our memories forever.

Grandma Vegas* Everywhere
by Laurie Reyes
She’s not here, but I can see her.
She’s in a better place, yet still,
If I look all around me
I can see her if I will.
In the Mill’s smiling dimples,
Or the almond-shaped eyes,
Long chins, high cheek bones;
And a love for bargain buys.
In the glitter of Las Vegas
Or the steel magnolia tree
“Go-go Speed Racer”, “dosey dotes”,
or “hey, Charlie!”
When I pass the corner Walgreens
When I see my set of twins
When my mom laughs uncontrollably
About her with Aunt Fran.
And I see grandma in my mother
As she is my dad’s right arm.
I can see her in my sister
With her glamour and her charm.
I can see her in my daughter
With her sparkle and her shine,
I will evermore be grateful
That her life echoes in mine.
*We always called her “Grandma Vegas” growing up.

5 thoughts on “Grandma Vegas Everywhere

  1. Great poem, Laurie. Love the images. How did her sister die at 16? Your description reminds me of my Granny (mom’s mom). A glamour queen in her own right. I got more chin than I like from her, though, but my daughter got her height, which I’ve always envied (in a godly sort of way, of course!).

  2. Sorry for your loss of such a beloved person. I know you know you’ll see her again, as I know I’ll see my Gramillo again too. Your poem gave me a good visual image and an idea of the essence of her. I hope you and your family are doing well. There’s so much of my Gramillo in me that my mom calls me Violet Junior (Violet was my grandma’s name.) I think it’s wonderful.

  3. Zo, it’s tragic that her twin died in a car accident on her way to or from a party attended with my grandma. Worse was that extended family members blamed her because she talked her sister into going. Her mother wisely moved her away from them to New Orleans.My mom said it was one thing she could never talk about because it caused so much pain.

  4. What a lovely tribute to your grandmother! It’s wonderful to be able to have grandparents in your life. They are such an influence; it’s sobering to think when I get to be a grandmother, I hope I’ll be as wonderful as my grandmother was to me!

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