In her 95 years my Grandma has seen so much change. Recently I had a friend of mine Louanne Midgley of Tell Your Story record my Grandma's life story. I felt it was a really important story to preserve.
Born in 1919 she was the eldest of three. Uncle Howard and Auntie Phyllis and my Grandma grew up in the Kootenays where they had what sounded to be a pretty happy childhood. It was fun hearing Grandma tell stories in her own words of what she did as a young child and then as a teenager, young adult, married woman, mom and then widow. She was widowed very early into her marriage and was left to care for her two children on her own. Thankfully there was family to help out.
My Mom and my Uncle are 13 months apart and by the sounds of it kept Grandma on her toes. Raising two kids as a single mother back in the days where it was rare to be a single mother didn't seem to ruffle her feathers. She even ended up in the sanitarium with TB and her young kids were separated and apart from her. My Uncle went to live with family here in BC and my mom ended up at a convent with the nuns. When Louanne acknowledged what a difficult time it must have been for her Grandma paused to remember and simply said, "We had no choice but to move forward." I think that has always been her attitude and I am fortunate because I feel it is how I was raised to think. There is no point in dwelling on stuff just move forward.
I can really never remember a time where she wasn't around rooting for me. Even now, she is always asking how my cards are selling and wonders, like I do, where this talent of mine comes from. "Not me", she says. "It must have come from your Nana."
When I got my first tattoo I was late for dinner with Grandma. There was no cell phones so I didn't call to say I was going to be late. Once I got there I told her why I was late. She didn't give me the Oh what did you do that for? She simply asked to see it and was happy I made it there. I was in my early 20s. There was no judgment just a sharing of information and excitement and the story of how may day went and why I ended up getting a tattoo.
What a gift her longevity has been for me. She is my rock; my kindred spirit. Today on her 95th birthday I am grateful for all she is and all she continues to be. May she continue to attend choir, go for her daily walks and be free from pain. I am grateful for her mind and although her brain likes to make things a bit confusing for her a times, she still knows me and can have fantastic conversations and giggles with me. I am grateful for all the times she told me to stand up straight and suck in my belly. Good posture has served her well ~ she is still upright and moving. May I be so lucky. Mostly I am grateful for the love and support she continues to give me. The light will go out one day...but until then I shall continue to embrace and cherish each moment and celebrate her 95 years with CAKE!