Thursday, September 28, 2006

Grandmother's Legacy

I never knew my Grandmother when she could walk. Struck down with multiple sclerosis during the prime of her life, she lived life in wheelchair or armchair for all the years I knew her. Her home was small, but clean and tidy. Although she had electricity, she never had running water or a bathroom in her house. I have fond memories of my aunties in Grandmother's kitchen, cooking up delicious meals over a blazing, wood-burning kitchen stove. When Grandmother's disease held her prisoner in her own body, Aunt Mabel, who lived next door, would deliver three meals a day and tend to Grandmother's needs. I remember my father installing an intercom system by Grandmother's bed so she could call Auntie Mabel in the night if she needed any help. It was her lifeline to security and assistance if it was needed.

It's amazing to me how Grandmother never complained! She was known for her kind and gentle spirit. She took life as it came and lived to ease the lives of those around her. She was widowed by fifty and for the next twenty-five years lived alone until old age required she move in with her daughter so she could be cared for more easily. Although she had much she could have complained about, not a grumpy word came out of her mouth! She simply was not one to feel sorry for herself.

When my sister and I were little girls, she would look forward to our visits and frequently asked us to sing for her. Her thick German accent sometimes made it hard for us to understand all she said, and we sometimes were shy about kissing her good-bye because of the long, black hairs of her mustach! She kept wonderful white peppermint candies in her drawer and always gave us one or two when we came to visit. Because we hadn't ever seen candies of this type in the United States, my sister and I decided that these were purely Canadian mints! She enjoyed letters from us and would write them to us as well. I recently found one she wrote to me in my late teen years, admonishing me to be a 'good girl' and asking about boys and school. Every time we visited her, she would never let us leave without a prayer and a song. To this day, I cannot hear the hymn "Till We Meet Again" without thinking of Grandmother, as it was the song we always sung before we journeyed home again.

The items in this picture are mostly Grandmother's. The table sat beside her armchair for many years and the clock was hers as well. Both are precious family heirlooms and treasures, as they remind us of her and the positive influence she had on our lives. The little girls in the photo are my sister and me.

1 comment:

  1. I loved reading about your dear Grandmother. Brought back fond memories of my beloved "Gram". I also loved seeing your treasures...I have quite a few of those in my own home.


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