by - December 22, 2014

I have had some time to digest the emotions of these past couple weeks: the learning that she only had "weeks to months" and then the very quick deterioration of a feisty lady who was determined to live to be 100.
I think that's been the hardest part for me, knowing how alive and full of life she was just weeks ago.  I can picture her coming over not even a month ago, en route to one of her many cancer appts and nagging at Dad because he kept making sure she had a blanket to cover her and assuring us that the kids could still jump on her.

My Grams was a remarkable lady and she would not miss a moment to tell us how much she loved us.  She thought of others first and even on her last day, took the time to tell Uncle Doug/Aunty Marcie, Mom and Dad that she wanted everyone to know how much she loved them and what she had got everyone for Christmas/where they could find the presents.

As we sat around her house on Thursday after saying our formal goodbyes, it was exactly as she would have loved it; her house packed with family, the coffee going and the goodies on the table.  We spent some time collecting treasures and momentos that we could bring home for our rememories.  I may or may not have spent the night weeping into her tartan scarf that she wore everywhere, that I got her when we were in Scotland, because it still smelled like her.

Oh yeah, on one of my sleepless nights, I made a quick photo canvas for each family that had Grandma's hand-written advice.  This is something that I will hang with pride and treasure forever. Thanks to a suggestion from a friend, I plan on doing a blog tutorial in the new year

There are many things that I'm going to want to remember about the past couple weeks.  Grams played a huge role in our life and there will be an empty spot at every gathering.  I know she made a huge impression on my kids.  Willis would play her in Scrabble online and Lucia loved giving Grams hugs.  When I had finished doing the reading at her funeral, I was walking back to our pew and Willis was in tears.  I thought Lucia had punched him, but when I asked him what was wrong, he said with big tears that he didn't want Grams to go.

I just want to wrap up this week with some of the memories that were shared in our family, mostly for me and for the family, but also because she was so damn freaking cool that I just want to share with you too.  Cherish your Grandmas, people, they hold so many treasures.

From Renée: 
By far the most important thing that Grams taught me is to focus on the positive and enjoy life. She rarely showed being down and always had a smile on her face. Throughout the challenges that life threw at her, she would just roll with the punches and work her way through without complaining. I was lucky enough to live with Grams and Grandpa for 6 weeks during my internship in university. I always remember coming home to a wonderful home cooked meal, homemade buns and pie for dessert all the while the Blue Jay game was on in the background. To this day, whenever I hear the sounds of a ball game and feel the breeze through the window, I think of the time I spent visiting their home. I treasure all those card games, knitting lessons, camping memories, and most of all the life lessons she has shown me. I only hope I can be as positive as she was and be a role model to my family and create those wonderful memories that will last my lifetime and live on in our children. God has gained a remarkable angel to serve him in Heaven and I am so happy she will be reunited with Grandpa and her siblings, parents, and friends that went before her. Rest in peace my wonderful Grams.

From Deena:
I had a chance to say goodbye to Grams on Friday.  I held her hand and told her how much she meant to me and how much I loved her.  It was an extended goodbye that took all weekend, but her two sons and daughter in laws were there the whole time, holding her hands and supporting her.  
 I am grateful we had the chance to tell her everything that she needed to know, for we didn't get that chance with Grandpa.  We told Grandma to tell Grandpa how much we missed him and loved him and that Kyla's baby would have Elizabeth or Harvey in his/her name.  She knew how much she was loved and she in turn gave us peace too, letting us know how much she loved us and that she was ready to go and to be with Grandpa and her family. There are so many memories.  She was an amazing woman with an even more amazing outlook in life.  She was my number one ball fan and I will miss her voice cheering me on.

From Lea: 
When I think of grams - I think of apple pie, white hair, xmas pudding, card games. A woman who never once forgot a birthday or anniversary for myself or my kid or my husband.
I think of Afghans and Mittens.  I think of an 80 year old lady who never let anything get in her way and someone who never judged others’ decisions. I think of a woman whom I am glad was such a strong role model for her grand daughters.

From Kyla: 
I think the thing with Grams was that she was always present. She was a part of every function, every life event and treasured those moments dearly.  She was genuinely interested in our lives and what we were doing.  She would follow you around the house when she visited, asking questions, wondering what you were doing, because she really cared and really wanted to know.   I had the opportunity many years ago to have her as my driving partner to Stettler. Not many people can say they have been on a journey with their grandmas, with just themselves.  I don't really remember now what we talked about, or what we did but I know she probably enjoyed every minute of it and probably kept on trying to pay for things, sneaking in her 20$ bill and me, refusing.  She loved her great grandchildren so much and you can see the impact she has had in their lives.  Both girls are always asking about Grams and I am so lucky that they had the chance to know and love her. I loved that we could play Scrabble together and I will miss our weekly phone calls, something that we started way too late. 

From Brett:
I was fortunate enough to spend a summer living with Grandma the year after Grandpa passed away. Grams and I spent many nights playing cards and going to the occasional bingo together. Grams always had the largest smile on her face when you would arrive at her place and tears of sadness when we left. She always said that staying positive got her through all her tough battles in life and that she wanted to leave this world with a sound mind. Grams also handed out the Christmas gifts almost every year and was assured to make pudding for everyone.

From Rob: 
My best memories from grams are our long talks about the history of our family and going to the casino to gamble!  I really enjoyed chatting with her weekly these last few years. Something I wish I would have done more of.

From Don: 
The more recent memories are having her as my driving partner, going for appointments or chemo etc., we would pick up Tim Hortons for the road going down and always stop at the one in Martensville on the way home. Many miles back and forth to Saskatoon.  She loved camping and fishing.
Loved road trips. She always tried to give money and I would say next time you can buy. She didn’t really like hugging but I was turning her around on that. She had a great memory about the past.

From Marlene:
My mother-in-law was a woman to admire because of her optimism and zest for life.  The kids always thought of her as a “hip” grandma.  How many 87 year olds are there anyway who are on facebook, iphones, ipads and so on and so on?  Grams was always game to try anything, always ready for the next adventure.    She loved to shop, play bingo, camp, fish, visit with people and always ready to help out anyone in need.  She was so proud of all her family, and rightly so as she raised two fine sons and had a great impact on all of her grandchildren and great grandchildren.  We spent many hours together playing scrabble; I will miss my most formidable scrabble opponent.

From  Doug & Marcie:
What we admire most about mom was the way that she was able to get along with anyone.  She was so sociable, and had so many interests that it was easy for her to make conversation with any age of person.  She was always a welcomed visitor wherever she went.


Grams, it was always you. 
You who kept us together, you who made us take pictures, you who paid the most attention to the going-ons of our lives. You who loved unconditionally and without judgement and who could wallop anybody's butt at Scrabble. 
It was you who taught us, ever so quietly, about the importance of being present in the lives of the people who surround us.
You lived by example, never imposing your thoughts or ideals.  You kept us all tightly bundled together, and for that, I will be forever grateful.
Until we meet again.

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  1. Well, I'm crying. Your grams was an incredible woman. Loved reading all the memories.

  2. Just like Jordan, now I'm crying. My son came into the office & said what's wrong, and I couldn't even tell him. Such a beautiful tribute to your Grams. Two things struck me the most: how positive she was (very inspiring to me as I'm working on this and I think it's so important), and the fact that she made such a big impact on all your lives. Being loved and loving you all like she did is the greatest gift in life. No wonder you are all so special!

  3. Thank you for posting this Deena {and yes I'm crying too}! These people of that generation were incredible. I felt like you were writing about my own grandma who would be just a few years over 100 if she were still alive. Memories are flooding through my mind and heart. So glad you posted this especially now at Christmas. I'm ever so grateful for what I was given through the life of my own grandma. Blessings to you, friend! xoxo

  4. so well done Dee. She left us such an incredible legacy of optimism.

  5. Crying also, sending love.....<3

  6. Beautifully written tribute to your Grams.

  7. Love ❤️. So well written.


Have a lovely day!