It's a word that gets tossed around alot and it can sometimes be misconstrued. For example: Great Dane. What is so impressive about MarmaDuke? Take away the "Great" in it's name and all you've got is a very large dog who you don't want crapping in your yard. Then there's Great Scott! Some say the orgin of this euphemism comes from the Union General Winfield Scott who was said to be in the range of 300 lbs and couldn't ride a horse due to his extreme girth. I call it a euphemism because...lets be honest here... it's just a nicer way of saying, "Hey, look at that Fat Bastard!"
Now, the word does bring justice to specific nouns or events such as Alexander the Great, or The Great Death, also known as the Black Death...the Plague. It can also define an animal for what it really is such as The Great White Shark and my favorite use of the word as a cynical expression, "Great...another beatdown in basketball by the Tarheels and Blue Devils" (If you bother to look up Cynical in the dictionary, it's cleary written..."See NC STATE WOLFPACK fanbase).
Great could also be just a few miles down the road. My Grandmother...by coincidence is a Great Grandmother too. She hadn't been feeling well of late and needed a procedure to relieve pain in her stomach. Mind you...she is going to be 93 years old this fall, so when she isn't feeling well, we tend to listen. Eventually, she had to have a minor procedure to remove a mass in her gall bladder. At her advanced age "simple" isn't really simple and she had to spend a few days recovering in the hospital.
Upon my return from a weekend beach trip I joined my cousin Carol and my uncle, Roger to visist one Clara Rosser Page in the hospital while she convalesced from her "simple" procedure. We enter her room and much to our suprise she is half sprawled on the bed as if she had attempted to get up...except that she apparently forgot she still had an IV still attached to her arm. It would have been comical except it was my Grandmother and she was frantically pressing the nurse "call" button...did I mention she is 92 years old? Carol rushes to her side and attempts to help her and at that moment the nurse arrives and relieves my cousin.
Here's the Great part about G'ma...as the nurse is assisting her to reach her feet, the dear sweet matriarch of our family stops in mid motion and asks the nurse, "Have you met my family?" Now, we just witnessed her in a most vulnerable state and in dire need of assistance but as is her nature she always has to be the most gracious and unassuming host...making everyone comfortable and always putting her needs second.
If you've followed my writing, I tend to make light of most situations and I really don't have a problem laugihing at myself and those that live with me but when it comes to that "little old lady" that resides on Raven Rock Road in Harnett County I just smile a little and thank her for showing me the "Greatness" of her dignity and grace. It's almost time for "Jeopardy" Grandma; put your feet up and let me fetch you some Ice Tea.