~in memory of grandma~

this morning felt very strange because i did not make my weekly 9 a.m. phone call to grandma. see, a good 8-10 years ago now, i made it my new year’s resolution to phone g’ma every week. in recent years, our chatting time had evolved to sunday a.m. – a convenient time for us both. our phone visits were not lengthy, and esp in the last few months, our topics of q & a were repetitive, but it was nice to touch base with grandma on a regular basis. our pattern was so established that some weeks, grandma would pick up the phone and immediately say, “hello cathy!” -> whenever she answered in this way, it made me laugh which in turn made HER laugh and got our visit off to a cheery start.

on wednesday of this past week, g’ma completed her daily walk to and from the uptown mall with her best friend. thursday morning, g’ma was taken to the hospital, and it was discovered that the situation was terminal. the care team gave grandma no more than a day or two to live. i cannot BELIEVE how things work out (as i have often said before) – on thursday, i was scheduled to work only until 3 pm. i am RARELY done my work day this early! as such, i was able to go to the hospital late thursday aft, spend time with grandma, and say my good-bye. grandma passed away late yesterday afternoon. [i have to smile because grandma could be quite stubborn at times (dad and i share this trait, too) and the fact that she lived more than 24 hours than expected was her way of being stubborn right to the very end].

i am so so happy that dad and i took grandma to her favourite swiss chalet back in august and enjoyed our lunch outing with her, there.

file photo, august 15, 2012; at swiss chalet

and remember the lovely family luncheon we shared in may to celebrate g’ma’s 90th? the smile never left grandma’s face that day.

file photo, may 13th, 2012; great-grandma!

one other blog post featuring g’ma comes to mind: this one where i showed you some of grandma’s needlework creations in her apartment, around the time of her 89th birthday.

file photo, may 4th, 2011; g’ma was a good sport about being photographed!

grandma was knitting right until the very end. this is a snippet of the last blanket that she made, finished just last week:

the fine and even tension of the knitting and intricacy of the crocheted border amaze me!

here are a couple of grandma-anecdotes:

~ brown was grandma’s favourite colour. when we were children, i remember the brother and i being practically aghast – and fascinated! – that anyone would pick BROWN for their favourite colour!

~ g’ma sewed entire wardrobes for me when i was a little girl:

two examples of grandma-creations: my 1st day of grade one, grade one class picture

here’s another example of grandma’s sewing talent: as a teen, i gave her a drawing of an outfit i wanted, and she replicated it even better than i had anticipated! (and you know it is hard to please a picky teen!). i wore that skirt + blouse combo for years.

~ grandma never judged and was pretty unflappable, no matter what news i shared with her.

~ grandma loved florida! i definitely inherited my love of florida + heat + sunshine from her!

~ grandma balanced a diet heavy on fried foods with a ton of walking!

~ a strong faith, a commitment to family, and not shying away from hard work saw grandma through some years of great hardship; i am glad she also experienced years of travel, relaxation, and enjoyment of life.

file photo, april 1975

we are planning on having a service of remembrance and celebration of life on thursday. it will be a day to mourn, but also to be thankful for all the years that grandma was with us.

~grandma, we will miss you~.

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  • Anonymous  On October 2, 2012 at 5:24 pm

    What a wonderful tribute to your grandma. It’s obvious she was an amazing person and that trickled down to all of her family and (I’m sure) friends as well.
    I’m sorry for your loss, Cathy. Even when a person is “old” the world still changes when they leave it—and that is certainly difficult when it’s a person you love. I bet your grandma felt she was just as lucky to have you as you feel that you had her!

    • Lisa  On October 2, 2012 at 5:25 pm

      oops sorry that was from me!

      • 1970kikiproject  On October 2, 2012 at 5:40 pm

        oh, thanks so much for your heartfelt comment, lisa – i so appreciate your kind words. i am certainly thinking of g’ma when i am knitting or walking the past few days – two of her favourite activities!

  • janetha  On October 1, 2012 at 3:17 pm

    this is a beautiful post. you know how to celebrate life.

    • 1970kikiproject  On October 1, 2012 at 3:31 pm

      thanks, j! so do you and your mom…case in point, the 60th bday celebrations!!

  • The Orchard  On October 1, 2012 at 1:38 pm

    I am so sorry to hear about your grandma Cathy. I enjoyed hearing about your fond memories of her.

    Hugs to you!

  • Ele  On October 1, 2012 at 9:38 am

    Cathy, I am so sorry for your loss. A Grandmother is truly a special gift. Like your’s, mine sewed me clothes, crocheted beautiful doilies and spent hours playing games with us. You were lucky to have her into adulthood, just as Fran and I were to have our Gram. I’m sure that she will continue to be proud of you and watch over you.Many hugs from your loved ones in NJ.

    • 1970kikiproject  On October 1, 2012 at 9:42 am

      oh, ele, thank you for your sweet comment, and for sharing a bit about your gran. games! yes! i remember many rounds of UNO and some domino games with g’ma! it sounds like you had a wonderful grandma, too. thanks so much for your thoughts.

  • Anonymous  On October 1, 2012 at 8:24 am

    Beautifully written Cathy. And I also believe in Angels, fate, etc…. As I started reading your blog the song “Hallelujah” came on my iPod. Seemed so fitting.

  • Fran@ Broken Cookies Don't Count  On October 1, 2012 at 6:36 am

    Oh, Cathy, how sad, but what a wonderful post of rememberance for G’Ma. I’ve always felt lucky that I had my grandparents as long as I did. Gave me a chance to get to know them when I was an adult to go along with my childhood memories. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family right now. It seems the longer we have them with us, the harder it is to let them go. I send many hugs to you.

    • 1970kikiproject  On October 1, 2012 at 6:42 am

      fran, thanks so much for your supportive comment. you make a good point about the relationship transition from childhood to adult…we feel very lucky to have so many years of memories! i am glad you knew your grandparents, too – the g’parent-g’child relationship is so special!

  • Stephanie  On October 1, 2012 at 5:05 am

    My thoughts are with you and your family. It sounds like she lived a full happy life…but it doesn’t make it any easier to say good-bye. You were lucky to have each other!

    • 1970kikiproject  On October 1, 2012 at 6:07 am

      thanks so much, stephanie~i do appreciate all the years g’ma was with us. not everyone gets that time.

  • 42kim  On September 30, 2012 at 10:47 pm

    Thank you for sharing your grandma with us. What a wonderful lady.


  • Gina  On September 30, 2012 at 10:34 pm

    what a wonderful tribute to your grandma, here, cath! thanks for sharing such heartfelt memories on the blog. as you mourn her passing, enjoy all the amazing memories you have of her.

    • 1970kikiproject  On October 1, 2012 at 6:08 am

      thank you, g! yes, it’s been good the last few days to play “remember when…” – and i think you may recall g’ma from way back, too!

  • strivingcynic  On September 30, 2012 at 9:58 pm

    Cathy, I’m so sorry to hear about your grandmother. It sounds like you shared a special and amazing relationship. It’s clear she enjoyed her life and must really have enjoyed having you as a granddaughter.

  • Stacie @ Snaps and Bits  On September 30, 2012 at 9:12 pm

    Oh Cath, I’m so sorry about your grandma. She looks like the sweetest most wonderful person. I’m glad you go there in time! I lost all of mine before I was 30. You have such good memories to cherish. I wish we all did!

    • 1970kikiproject  On September 30, 2012 at 9:36 pm

      thanks, stacie – and you are right, SO many memories! thanks, too, for sharing your comments~.

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