This will be the first Christmas that I’ll be without my Grandma. She was my last surviving grandparent and definitely the one I grew up knowing the most about. She died last January shortly after Tanya and I came home from New Zealand.
It’s not like I saw my Grandma every Christmas, especially in the last 5 years or more, but after being at the Stuart McLean show last night it made me remember some of the great times I had with her and some of my memories of her. I will always remember the road trips to Saskatchewan, especially in my younger days. We be driving the huge Buick with either me or my brother stretched out along the back seat and the other one of us stretched out along the back dash just below the window. I can still remember just staring at the stars as we drove the long flat roads to Swift Current, Saskatchewan.
The champion hugger
Definitely my largest memory of my grandma was the enormous hugs she used to give. I used to be scared of her hugs. She would pick me up and squeeze me so tight. She’d squeeze so tight that all the air would escape my lungs. I’d be silently gasping because I didn’t want to let her know that I couldn’t breathe. As she got older and I got older the strength of her hugs and grip weakened and of course I got a little bigger and heavier and in the end her hugs were very frail and delicate. I always remember her for her hugs.
The Light Post
Whenever we’d arrive Grandma would always get a picture of us beside the light post outside in her front yard. If we arrived late, it’d be the next day, or sometimes not until we left, but that was her record of how tall we were. And more importantly I think, that was her gauge of how big to make our next year’s Christmas sweaters. Who knows? Maybe she asked my Mom how big I was those day, but I was always baffled at how she knew just exactly how big to make my clothes. I’d like to remember it being due to all of those pictures outside with that old light post.
Of course, just as Grandma got frail so did that post eventually. In her twilight years, somehow a tree start growing beside that post and by the time we moved her from her house it was full grown and had busted apart the brick planter that used to hold the light post.
She was a gamer
Hands down one of the things we’ll all remember Grandma for was her wits, her intelligence and her love of playing games. Even in her last days and weeks she was still learning new games. She took every game very seriously and loved laughing when something silly happened. Once she got older and the Wii came out, she was one of the first out of the gate to try it out. She had a lust for learning and I’m sure that’s what kept her going for so many years. I’ll always remember her laugh and her joy of playing games, especially at Christmas time.
As I moved away I actually became closer with my Grandma. Even though we weren’t seeing each other I began calling her almost monthly to see what was new. Of course the discussion always began with the weather and how she was getting sick and tired of the wind, but very quickly our discussions turned into politics, real estate, investments, etc. My grandma was a very intelligent woman and her wisdom rubbed off on me. Of course, at her age in life she was much more conservative that I was, but we were able to talk about things that I rarely talked about with the rest of my family.
I’ll miss you Grandma
My Grandma’s funeral was the first ever funeral I cried at. I’m not really a crier, but she was very special to me. It was great to have known her and it was great to have experienced as much as I did with her. When I think about Christmas, she’s one of the people I think about the most. So thank you grandma for all the wonderful memories, thank you for your laugh, thank you for the big hugs. I miss you.