Sunday, February 22, 2009

My Grandma - Mar 27, 1914 - Feb 22, 2008

My grandmother was born on March 27, 1914. When she was a child, ice and coal were delivered in horse-drawn wagons. In her lifetime she experienced the death of an infant brother, 2 World Wars (with her brothers all fighting in WW2 and all surviving!), the Great Depression, the Vietnam War (with a son fighting who also survived), 9/11 (she lost a grandson), and more. She outlived her parents, her husband, her sisters, all but two brothers, and two grandsons. She also had 5 healthy children. These children then in turn gave her 13 grandchildren and 8 great-grandchildren that all adored her and loved spending time with her.

Grandma died one year ago today.

Grandma taught me that faith, grace and duty are the glue that holds families and societies together. She taught me that dirty linens should never be aired in public, and sometimes not even within the family. She taught me the value of privacy. Grandma taught me that most slights should be ignored and not allowed to rankle and develop into resentment. She also taught me to choose my battles – sometimes a hurt must be addressed, but it should be addressed with dignity.

Over the years, Grandma shared many stories with me: how she met my grandfather, little stories about childhood friends and the wonder of a friend who could afford comic books, and more. There was even a funny moment a few years back when she told me of how she used to wish her family could afford eggs and bacon every day for breakfast like a certain “rich” classmate – all Grandma’s family could afford was porridge for breakfast most days - and now we know how unhealthy the eggs and bacon are and she outlived them all!

Grandma also taught me the value of walking - and not "loosing your legs". Grandma was fiercely independant and walked (by herself!) a mile to the bank and the shops into her 80s. She probably also contributed to the early graying of the rest of us by doing this, as we were always worried she would be mugged ;)

Grandma with her 8th Great-Grandchild - not bad for a 92 year age difference!

I miss my Grandma, but I take comfort in knowing she is with God and that I will see here again.