This past weekend we scattered my Grandmother’s ashes underneath a tree at her farm. It was an intimate act with just the closest family members present. Afterwards we had a larger family dinner where I gave the following tribute to my Grandma.
Given that this weekend is Thanksgiving I thought I would take this time to give thanks for the woman that I was privileged to have as my Grandma. I got to spend 44 years basking in her love and she was one of my favourite people in the world. I always told her that she was not allowed to die and for 44 years she kept that promise.
I’m thankful for all the fried chicken and porridge she made me.
Whenever I saw Grandma she would always make me my two favourite dishes. The first was her fried chicken and it was delicious. We found the original recipe in her recipe box and the newspaper clipping swears that it is the “Kentucky Colonel’s true recipe.”
The other thing she always made me was porridge. In fact when I came down last December I was so tired and cold that I asked her to make me porridge for dinner. And so my 91 old Grandmother made ME porridge chuckling all the while about how easy I was to please.
No one could make porridge as good as hers, and despite her showing me her way many times over the years, mine was never as good. In fact when I make porridge for my boys the biggest compliment they give me is that it almost tastes as good as hers. I am sure she put something special in hers and in hopes of finding that something special one of the things I truly wanted from her house after she passed was this spoon. Hopefully it will carry on its magic.
I’m thankful for all the time I got to spend with her.
As a child I would spend a few weeks every summer on the farm with my Grandparents. I spent every Christmas with them too. Grandma and Grandpa were still actively running the farm but despite that she always had time for me. She taught me to bake bread, churn butter, make ice cream (hmm there seems to be a food theme here.) She did things like ride on top of a load of bales when I wanted to, taught me how to drive, showed me how to milk cows, and even gave me part of her egg sales if I helped look after the chickens.
I’m thankful that she taught me that you are only as old as you think you are.
I never heard Grandma say, “I’m too old for that” She was game for everything. Well almost everything she wouldn’t get matching tattoos with me last year. I cajoled her with the promise that it would freak out my mom but she didn’t bite, but I blame that on the blood thinners she was taking rather than age.
After my Grandpa passed away Grandma went with my family to Maui. She took her first plane ride on a jumbo jet which she declared a piece of cake, then she rode an island hopper and wasn’t so blase. On that same trip she, who had never learnt to swim, did so IN THE OCEAN and even learned how to snorkel. She called is snortling and liked to send time in the hot tub which she called the wacuzzi.
When people would see her they would never believe how old she was. When she was in her 80s she travelled all the way to Australia to see my mom, had a motorcycle ride and continued to dance her heart out with her boy-friend Bob.Even on her 90th birthday she held up her 10 fingers as a gesture for 10 more years.
I’m also grateful that she got to spend time with my boys especially when you consider that I didn’t have my children until my mid to late 30s and she was their Great Grandmother. I have a picture of her in her 80’s when she got down on a very low plasma scooter and let my 3 and 5 year old push her around the house.
I’m thankful that she taught me how to laugh.
Mostly I am thankful that she became one of my very best friends. We laughed a lot together. She had such a great sense of humour and even in her last days she was joking with her nurses and making them laugh.
There is a quote from JK Rowling which says, “To have been loved so deeply, even though the person who loved us is gone, will give us some protection forever.” And thus I will be protected by her love. I will miss her forever. There is no one who could take her place.