One of the best things I've done in my life is to marry John and have children. We have four sons--all of them different and all of them wonderful. We also have three terrific daughters-in-law, one of whom is expecting her first child and our first grandchild in November. We are truly blessed.
And that brings me to an aside--grandmothers, a subject which has, not surprisingly, been on my mind.
I was born in northern Ontario and lived with my grandmother, my mother's mother, from the
time I was three until we moved to the United States when I
was five. I'd see my parents and brother on occasion but it
was my grandmother I lived with. I'm not sure why this was;
whenever I asked my parents why I was rebuffed. Even as an
adult, I've asked my aunts but no one has ever given me any
answers. I have some guesses, but I don't know. I'm not
really complaining as I loved my grandmother very much and
feel very fortunate to have had the chance to know her.
Except for a e few elderly aunts, I think there are few alive who
remember her. But, oh, I do! I do!
She was a grandmother who would patiently answer all my
questions and sing me songs and tell me stories she made up.
She'd bake little pies, just for me. She loved flowers,
especially roses, and was a talented and dedicated gardener
known in her small town for her "French" (raised bed) garden. She always had
the first ripe tomatoes, no small feat in a place where a heat wave was 80 degrees!
the summers, she'd let me stay up late to see shooting stars
and the Northern lights and make brown bread and butter
sandwiches for picnics at the lake. She'd wrap me up in so
many woolen clothes and scarves when I'd go out to play in the
winter snow I could barely walk. She could enter my
child-like world without any effort. When her friends came
in the afternoons for tea, which weren't formal affairs at
all, I was always welcome and everyone would make a fuss
over me. She loved to play the piano and she sang all the
time. She was always smiling.
Early on a dark, snowy winter morning, my mother, my brother
and I boarded a train to leave for California to join
my father who'd left before us to find a job and a place for
us to live. We were entering the country illegally
(something which was straightened out years later) so my
mother only told me we were going to visit him, not that we
we were going and never coming back; she was afraid I might
say something about going to live with my father at the
wrong moment (we were entering using visitor visas) and be
prevented from entering the country.
I can still see my
grandmother standing outside the train window smiling, with tears running down her face, blowing kisses as the train began leaving
the station. I couldn't understand all the tears then; I
believed we'd only be gone a few weeks, but it was years before I saw her again and then it was only briefly. In the intervening years we wrote to each other and I've kept and treasured her letters. She died in 1967. I still miss her.
I am grateful for my husband, my sons, and their wives, and the little one who is coming. And I'm grateful I had a kind and loving grandmother who showed me how I want to be when I, too, become a grandmother.