My grandma came to live with us when I was 11 she loved being outside she spent most of her time in the backyard. My grandma was always busy hanging clothes on the line, weeding, or sweeping the patio the moment I would enter the back yard I would hear her song (usually in French) she sang as she worked along with adding little dance steps.
She was a small spunky woman only 4’11” she had nine boys most of them died at birth. Another son was killed in a trolley car accident while he was selling newspapers. Only three of the nine lived to adulthood, my dad was the baby. My grandpa died when my dad was a small boy, grandma never remarried, she cleaned houses so she could support her family. I mentioned she was spunky she was like the energizer bunny she never stopped even with all the tragedy she experienced and I knew my dad stayed on her good side from fear of her.
As a young girl there were things my grandma did that I didn’t understand. She would take a roll during dinner roll it up in her napkin and hide it in her lap. My dad explained it was because of the depression, if I asked Grandma she would say they were for the starving children. Sometimes I would go in her room with my mom to clean out some of the hard stale rolls from grandma’s hiding place, mom was always careful to make sure grandma wouldn’t see us and the pile was big enough so grandma wouldn’t notice the few she took.
My Grandma loved Christmas! It was because of her we would all pile in the car and search out Christmas lights. We didn’t put up very many lights outside so the adventure of finding the best decorated houses was fun. I was grateful that my husband loved going for rides looking for Christmas lights so the tradition has continued, even now that we are empty nesters we look forward to seeing the amazing light displays.
I’m not sure why the decision was made but my grandma was moved to a nursing home close to our home. I loved visiting her, if she wasn’t in her room (which was most of the time even if weather was bad) we would find her outside. I think it was hard on grandma to not be working. They had a garden so grandma focused her energy on snatching up any weed that poked it’s leafs through the soil. I don’t remember my grandma’s house but I heard stories about the beautiful garden she had. One of the things I loved about visiting the nursing home was all of the residents loved me.
After living at the nursing home for many years my grandma fell and broke her hip. Visiting her after that wasn’t the same I don’t remember how long it was after that that she died I just remember how sad it was seeing her mostly in bed. Writing these memories helped transport me back to that time I can almost feel my hand in hers, she always put my hand to her lips. It is because of my grandma and her love for nature that shaped my career, bringing the soothing beauty of nature indoors.