|My beautiful grandmother and I|
I was asked to say a few words on behalf of her five grandchildren at the funeral, something quick and light, and so I asked my cousins and my siblings about happy memories they had...snapshots of Gram, as we called her, to help others see how special she was. I also spoke with many different people at her wake--some strangers, some friends, some family. What I discovered was one common thread that we will all remember about this amazing, unassuming lady.
She never complained.
From rough lumber camps to high-profile dinners with Members of Parliament, from near poverty to relative wealth...my grandmother was one of a rare breed of people who always saw the good in her situation. Asked to feed twenty strange men...she put a pot on the stove. When our children came to play on her antique furniture and prized piano...she showed them where the books were and gave them a candy. Asked to leave her home of seventy years...she walked into the nursing home and embraced the social schedule, going to bingos and bell choirs and waiting patiently for her evening cookie. Her glass was always more than half full, it was overflowing.
She loved life, loved people, and was so very proud of her children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. People I had never met told me of how proud she was of my book, my letters, my family, the photos I'd sent. While I thought I was neglectful of her, never spending enough time, she was singing my praises to anyone who would listen. I'm humbled when I realize how much she endured graciously in relation to my small discomforts that send me spinning.
So this year, instead of New Year's resolutions that I know I'll break, I'm making a personal goal in honour of my beautiful grandmother. It's a simple one, really. I'm going to try to see the good in things like she always did. The operative word is try here, because I know I will fail. I'm going to try to praise my kids and my husband and my siblings and my parents and my friends...instead of looking for their faults. I'm going to search for the positive when things go wrong. And when life requires me to do something I don't want to do...I'm going to think of the little woman who always recognized that sometimes you've just got to get on with it if you want to find the reward at the end.
She's gone to her reward now, and I am so privileged to have been a part of her beautiful life.
Rest in peace Gram. May your legacy live on in those who loved you, including me.