Today I was thinking about posting my top 10 Olympic moments then I noticed the date, March 1st. My Gran would have turned 96 today, had she not passed 12 years ago. The Olympics will have to wait, as my head is full of Gran memories...
Oh how they have flown by, truly in the blink of an eye. Memories are held much dearer, the tears flow less frequently, but they still sneak up at the oddest times. Like when I open my recipe book cupboard.. It smells like her house. Or sitting in the middle of a theater performance and the actress says or does something - even humorous - that is just like Gran, the flood waters open up! No warning.
Someone once told me that the depth of your love and caring can be measured by the number of tears that you shed. I shed LOTS of tears, my kids tease me often about them - forget the simple eye roll, I get the whole body roll. Oh Canada gets me every time, as do sad stories in books or in movies. Oh well! I make no apology for them at all. They are as much a part of my personality as is my being left handed. There is little I can do or choose to do about them.... I just let them flow. One would think I would always remember to carry tissue, sadly not so much....
I wonder if she would recognize the girls, now 17, 16 and 14. They are beautiful young women, then they were adorable little girls. Interestingly enough each of them have their own unique memories of Great Grandma P - I love that. Though she is gone she is often talked about. Her zest and love of life, people and places are things I want to instill in my girls. Much of who I am today is because of who she was, and how she viewed life.
The world is a different place and as much as I would love to spend just one more day with her I would not wish her back to a 96 year old body or life in a nursing home. I am thankful for the life she lived and she lived it well. I am thankful for the time I had, the lessons I gleaned and the laughter we shared. 12 years or 20 I will always have that.
12 years and 12 memories...
My first movie in a real theater was with my Gran. Disney's "Song of the South".
Sleep overs at Grans were met with homemade waffles and milkshakes for breakfast.
(sshh do not tell your mom you had a milkshake for breakfast!)
Trips to the flea market at the drive in theater where she taught me the skill of bartering. She could get anyone to come down to a dime on most items (likely not really, but it seemed like that to me way back then)
She gave me my first camera. My love of all things photo related were encouraged by her, nurtured by hours sitting side by side on her couch looking at all her photo albums.
Trips to Stanley Park, riding the miniature train and going to the Zoo.. yes there really was a zoo at Stanley park. We would mimic the monkeys and avoid the bat cage. (She understood my great fear)
Gran always had our best interest at heart... Each visit usually netted a dollar or 2 with a hushed no go out to the garage and visit with Grandpa and do not tell him I gave you any money.... So off to the garage we would go and Grandpa would hand us a dollar or 2 and pretty much tell us the same thing... Do not tell Gran. Too funny, I am sure they knew what was going on but for me it was a great game. Not to mention profitable.
Never did we make it through a dinner with out the announcement of dessert, often we did not even get our food on our plates before she was telling us to leave room for dessert. It often went like this... Butter Tarts (her signature), Apple Pie, Lemon Pie (my fave), Flapper Pie (my Dad's favorite)and if my uncle was there Raisin pie (eww still makes me cringe!) and there was ALWAYS ice cream just in case no one wanted pie. Dessert was a big deal to Gran.
She taught me how to crochet. She tried to teach me to knit, however my being left handed hindered that in a big way. My 12th birthday gift - my first grandma made afghan is still one of my faves, snuggling under it is like a hug straight from her.
Long road trips (from Vancouver to 100 Mile) stopping at every bus station (we were driving) for snacks (she brought 3 10 gallon pails full of snacks... but never felt like what she packed at the time the bust station came into view) The 4 hour trip must have taken 8.
Hours and hours of singing silly songs at the top of our lungs. Songs about peanuts & rail road tracks or Pickles and nickles... Good times for sure.
One of my all time favorite Gran moments happened at the airport. Gran had been visiting a nephew in Korea for an extended length of time and we were at the airport to pick her up. We waited and waited, we knew the plane had landed, but there was no sign of Gran. We waited and watched the monitor some more, Dad was getting impatient, Mom was getting a little worried. Then I heard laughter that sounded like Gran.. Looking around I did not see her, then I heard my name. There standing not 4 feet from us was Gran... Grey hair and all! Grey, WOW, when she left it was her traditional jet black. She could not get to a hair dresser in Korea so she decided to let the black grow out. She walked right past us at the airport and stood and watched us stew. I laughed even then.
My Gran never met a stranger, each person that crossed her path was a potential friend and a friend was a friend for life. She taught me the value of laughing at yourself - if you can laugh at yourself, when others laugh at you it will not hurt! No one could cook like Gran but I learned a few tricks.
Yes it has been 12 years and I still miss her, I still occasionally shed a tear, but I have memories that will last a life time and for that I will forever be grateful!