Saturday, 4 February 2012

Grandparents; We don't cherish them enough

This week, I spent two days with my husbands maternal grandmother and one day with my husbands paternal grandmother. My one set of grandparents live two hours away in my hometown, but I am lucky enough to have such a nice married-into family. I just got nostalgic having spent the past few days with some grandparents.

On Wednesday, I spent the day with Grandma Loades. This lady is one of my role models in life. She survived WWII, travelled to Canada with her 3 children, had a fourth child in Canada, cared for her husband for 25 years (Multiple Sclerosis), has survived cancer, does her hair in rollers everyday, and can cook like nobody's business. She is a fantastic. Her life story is amazing, and it is a family goal to write a book about her life. We've already decided that our first girl with be named after her (No, I will not share the name because I don't want people to steal it!). Anyways, on Wednesday, I was going over to watch a documentary on the upstairs/downstairs life of England's aristocrats. It turned into a discussion on finances and my (lack of a) career. She said, "I don't want you to feel like I'm criticizing you,  but you've had no one to explain these things to you, and you need to know this. Not just for you but for your family." So true. She made me set goals, and she said she would keep up with me to see if I reached them. On Friday, I spent the day with her as well. We went to the movie 'The Help' and then went out for supper. Another great conversation about how I can better myself as a person (expanding my book selections, learning more history, learning to not think everyone is criticizing me, etc). She's an awesome lady.

My husband's paternal great-grandma (Louise DeClercq) passed away in early January, 21 days away from her 96th birthday. She lived in the house her and her husband built themselves up to a week before her passing. The picture to the left was taken at Christmas, two weeks before she passed. She grew a full garden each summer, canned her own food, could go up the stairs without a cane, and was as sharp as knife. She is also another role model for myself. Her gardening, blueberry pies and prime rib roasts are something I am going to keep going in my own house. On the night of her passing, my husband and I went to the hospital to say our goodbyes. She was wasn't speaking, barely moving, and just hanging on till her son could get there (she passed away an hour after he arrived). As I love to bake and am married to the majority recipient of her famous blueberry pies (my husband), I promised her to keep up the tradition of her blueberry pies, and try my best to make them as well as she did. It was the only time that evening that she had actually responded to anyone, looking at me, nodding and if she had been able to, she would have probably shed a tear, as I could see it in her eyes. I spent Thursday, helping Grandma Portener do some more cleaning and boxing in great-grandma's house. It was nice to help her out, as she has a bad back. I tried and succeeded in boxing/bagging all the things in the basement and in the upstairs, so now she doesn't have to do the stairs. I learned Friday that I had sacrificed my calves for her back. They are still sore, but it was worth it to help her out.

I've only been married into this family for about 5 years, but they have accepted me with open arms and have pushed me to be a better person, teaching me lifelong skills and most of all, given me an example to live by. All to often, we take grandparents for granted. They are full of knowledge and we need to spend the time to listen to them, because if we did, we could avoid problems and stop our society from repeating the same mistakes over and over again.

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