Tiles Per Hour

Grandma loved to play “tiles.” The game is officially known as Rummikub, which we pronounced “rummy cube.” Every household in the family had a Deluxe Edition of the game in case Grandma came to visit. I am sharing memories of Grandma this week because she passed away on Saturday at age 98.

playing "tiles" (Rummikub) with Grandma in 2007 In 2007, my wife and I took our son on a wide-reaching tour of college campuses. We made sure to route the trip through Southampton to spend time with Grandma. It wasn’t long before the tiles were on the table. Grandma announced that we each had to put in a dollar. The winner of each game of Rummikub would get a buck from the pile.

In 2009, my son and I spent Spring Break with Grandma in Florida. She was a notoriously late sleeper. Frank Jr. and I would go out to a restaurant for lunch while Grandma was still getting up and getting ready for the day. After our sightseeing adventures, we returned to the condo to play tiles with Grandma before and after dinner.

I feel fortunate that my family has always kept a sense of humor about death. Yesterday my daughter and I joked that she should bring a set of tiles to play on headstone of the family plot in Gate of Heaven Cemetery. On Saturday, I told my daughter that I was glad Grandma didn’t die on my birthday, unlike that b—- Judy Garland.

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