My Gramma was born on October 5, 1909 and died on May 25, 2010. She was over 100 years old.
She lived during the Great Depression, the two World Wars and countless other historical moments in the last century. She was a school teacher in a time of one room schools and boarded with families in the community. She was a career woman at a time when career women were considered "old maids". She married my Grandad in 1940 at 30 years of age.
She had five children who celebrated her 100th birthday, who said their goodbyes as she was dying and who loved her, even though she had been difficult to love over the years.
She was my Gramma and I remember her fondly with all her imperfections. I have so many memories from my childhood:
- Eating a scrambled egg sandwich at the "kids table" while watching the Flintstones on TV.
- Having tea with Gramma and Grandad and drinking from the "Little Stinker" mug.
- Walking up 118th Ave to her house and watching for her to meet me to cross the street.
- Riding the bus to go shopping downtown.
But the memories from the last few years may be the most precious of all; these are the years when I got to know my Gramma as an adult and witness her becoming content with life.
In these last years my Gramma began to tell her children how much she appreciated what they did for her. At 99 years old she became best friends with a 96 year old woman (proving that you're never too old to make new friends). She ate ice cream as often as she could. She admired my shoes and clothing. She was sassy and had a quick witt. And at 100 years old she sang along to Christmas carols and knew all the words.
I'm turning forty next month and it strikes me that I am lucky - I have never known life without my Gramma. Thank you, Gramma, for letting me know you as an adult. You have made a difference in my life and I will miss you.