I got word on Monday morning during my class at Carleton that my grandmother - my dad's mum - died on Sunday night. My grandma was 88 and not in good health. She'd had Alzheimer's Disease for about 7 years. I'm glad her suffering is over.
I lived with my grandma and grandpa for 4 months from September to December 1995. I was on a work-term from my program at the University of Waterloo. I was working at the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra. My grandparents lived in Sherwood Park, Alberta - a very short commute into Edmonton. It was a great four months. I got to know my grandparents so much better and I spent a lot of time - mainly laughing, eating pretzels and playing cards - with my uncle and aunt at their house which was a short bike ride away. I was really lucky to have had the opportunity to spend that kind of time with my grandparents. I heard a lot of stories from both of them that I hadn't heard before. I helped Grandma in the kitchen. We talked a lot. My favourite stories from Grandma were about living in Saskatchewan during the Depression. She told me about men coming to the back door asking for food after hopping off the nearby trains. She also told me about she and her brother, Uncle Bob and her dad riding bikes around all the country roads on Sunday afternoon. She told me about her very grumpy grandmother who she never saw smile. Grandma laughed a lot. She was almost always knitting something. She loved to travel. She said that maybe growing up by the railway tracks gave her "itchy feet."
She didn't always have the easiest life but she greeted each day smiling. She made the best bread. She made an amazing beef stew with dumplings. She had a killer recipe for cappuccino muffins. She was particular about how the dishwasher was loaded. (Terrible photo below but all I can dig up at short notice.)
I'm looking forward to talking about her next week with everyone and hearing other people's stories.
I have to admit, I'm not looking forward to a two-hour time change with a baby. Five a.m. is going to come very early.
As an aside, I will be the one on the WestJet flight hauling a full case of Girl Guide cookies as my carry-on. My family out west has demanded that I bring a case for them to buy, which I think is amazing, and also very very funny. We Reyburns really like our baked goods.