To my Grandmother – International Women’s Day

I’ve been thinking on this today as I’ve seen the links on Facebook scroll down my feed. 

Women have come a long way since the 1950’s and although it is an era I appreciate and admire. I am very glad I was not born and raised in an era where it was expected that a woman raise the children and the husband was the one who brought home the income. Which essentially gave him the power of the house. No thanks! 

My grandmother is someone I look up to. She raised 4 boys in an era where our grandfather was the sole provider. Grandma didn’t drive, yet she provided the directions, to my grandfather who would often ask for directions. Grandma knew how to make money stretch and she always would shop where she could get the most for their money.

When I was born, my early formative years were spent with my grandmother and grandfather. My parents lived in the basement suite of the 2 story house they shared with grandma and granddad. I remember this house because of the cherry blossom trees that stood out front. I smile upon reflection because they are my favorite, even today.

Grandma was my best friend, always had an ear for me, she provided support, wisdom and unconditional love. Never one to put up with poor manners or disrespect, you always knew to say “please and thank you.” But more importantly, she was always there for me. She and I have a memory of feeding “Tom” the black and white cat that came to their house and we would sneak outside and leave milk and wet food for him *laughs*. Granddad wasn’t too happy with us, but boy you wouldn’t know it with that very same cat riding on his shoulders *grins.*

When grandma was dying of cancer, I will never forget seeing her in the hospital as she was laying in bed. She called to me and told me not to be afraid of her. I remember feeling her hand in mine, soft to the touch. Grandma asked me to promise her that I would get my driver’s license, to not be dependent on anyone but myself. I knew why she was telling me this, she wanted me to experience a life, different than hers. A life of change and growth, not one dependent on someone else. 

I honored my grandmother by getting my driver’s license and I have never forgotten her message. It was a challenge to get my license but I made a promise, one I was determined to keep. 

When grandma passed away, I was devastated. My best friend, my life guide, my safe place was no more. I struggled to come to terms with her passing and for a long time I wanted to believe it wasn’t true. But in my heart I knew it was.  

I recently went to the cemetery and smiled when I saw where she and granddad lay. Together with other members of our family, I smiled because no one was alone, grandma was with her loved ones, just as I know she is with me today. 

She inspired me to always fight, to stand up for what I believed in, to tell the people that matter to you how you feel about them; to be independent. 

But most of all she loves me.