On February 21st, my mum passed away, suddenly and unexpectedly, leaving the family reeling. I don’t want to make anyone sad, or to bring you down. The purpose of this blog is one of celebration.
I find that I remember my mother at the oddest moments and not always with sorrow. There are times when I feel great joy thinking about how much she gave to those around her, and how fortunate I was to have been her daughter.
What I want to discuss is how she affected my daughter and the wonder of the extended family.
My daughter is an only child so every family member is important to her. She has a warm relationship with all of her aunts and uncles, and loved her Nan dearly.
My favorite memory of my daughter and Nan together goes back to when my daughter was three or four years old. She always enjoyed talking to adults and, even at that age, was a great listener.
Because we lived outside of Toronto and I wanted to maintain a close relationship between my daughter and her Nan, we would visit my mum for sleepovers. My mum was an early riser, and I am not, but I would hear my mum head down to the kitchen very early and then, a few minutes later, would sense my daughter slipping out of bed to join her grandmother.
More than a few times, I came downstairs to find them sitting in the open doorway of the back porch in the sun, still in pajamas and housecoats, my mum with a cup of coffee and my daughter a hot chocolate. Even before I finished walking the stairs, I could hear them chatting. When I turned down the long hallway, I would see them with their heads together, silhouetted against the green grass, trees and colorful flowers in my mum’s back yard, enjoying each other and the day. It is a snapshot memory of my two favorite people.
A week before she died, my mum and I had lunch and she mentioned how much she loved and admired my now-grown daughter and how important to her the times they’d had the opportunity to spend with just each other were. Especially, she remembered those mornings when they sat together on the back porch in the sun and talked.
On the day of the funeral, I told my daughter what her Nan had said about her and she was thrilled. She recalled those memories so fondly. I’m sure she will carry them with her always. She was fortunate to have had her grandmother in her life for so many years.
I didn’t meet my mother’s parents until I was nineteen. They lived in Newfoundland, one of Canada’s Atlantic provinces. That’s when I learned where my mother got her sense of humor–from her father–and her streak of mischief. Nan played tricks on people, which my daughter loved.
There weren’t many times that I was able to visit my grandparents, but I cherish the memories of those rare visits.
I would love to hear some of your cherished memories of your grandparents.