I had a different blog post written to post this week but when I opened up social media today, I was reminded by my Sisters’, Penny and Tara, that it was Grandma Glencross’s birthday today. Grandma would have been 93 years old. She was born March 23, 1929 and passed away March 6, 2005 at the age of 76 years old. At the time, I was 18 years old and in my first year of post-secondary schooling. I thought about that and decided I need to share with others how special Grandma was to us kids. Although there are many neat stories to share about her life and growing up on the prairies, I’d like to focus on my childhood and what Grandma meant to me and how she shaped my life!
For all of my childhood, Grandma lived in the town of Blaine Lake. We lived out on the farm about 10 minutes from town. As such, my sister Tara and I were so fortunate to see Grandma often. We have so many wonderful memories. Grandma was a gardener. She had a garden in town that we would often go and help her with. She would also come out to the farm to help Mom with her garden. I have fond memories of harvesting season. Grandma, Auntie Leona, and Uncle George would come to the farm often especially on potatoe digging day. That was an operation! Everybody had a job!
Grandma loved to play cards and compete. She started us young with a game called fight, many of you might call it “war”. As we got older, we learned to play kaiser, blitz and even a little bit of crib. In Grandma’s later days, she played cards regularly with her friends at the Blaine Lake Seniors Lodge. Visiting with Grandma usually meant playing cards.
Grandma was also an avid sports fan. Likely where my love of sports started. We watched hockey, baseball and curling all the time! Grandma would always attend our softball, curling, volleyball, soccer and basketball games. She would be cheering us on from the stands and she was there to congratulate us when we won and wipe away our tears of disappointment when we lost. Either way she was there!
Grandma loved music and so did I. Aside from Mom and Dad, Grandma was my number one fan! She always came to fiddle contests and watched me play. It brought her great joy! She had a favourite waltz that I always played for her, “The Black Velvet Waltz”. It never got old and when I hear it today I can just see her listening in and taking it all in! Although I loved playing fiddle regardless, playing for Grandma was different. She had a way of letting you know she was super proud of you. As I reflect on this, I wonder if Grandma was in many ways my motivator to keep learning and to keep playing!
Lastly, Grandma was a meal maker! She always had the best meals and the best treats to share with us! My fondest memories were going to school and then heading to Grandma’s place for lunch. I think Tara and I did this about once a week. It was the best!
One of my grandest learnings from Grandma and I’m still working on that is to always be early! When we would be going somewhere with Grandma she would always arrive at the farm about half hour before departure time. Mom would often be saying to Tara and I, “Hurray up and get ready, Grandma will be here right away”. Sure enough we would watch her white Chrysler driving slowly down the grid road nice and early. We would yell back to Mom, “Grandma is here!” I think there is a life lesson in this. Being early gave Grandma more time with us and with everyone and likely meant she was never rushed. Life is simpler that way.
Grandma really was the best! We idolized her and all she stood for! She was always there to cheer us on, give us a hug when we needed it, cook us an amazing meal, play a game of cards, sing songs with us on her guitar, or rub our back and hair when we were ill. When she passed we lost a piece of our life that day! I remember feeling so empty. Think about that. Her impact was so big I/we didn’t know how to move on without her. Having said that, we did – likely from all the confidence and love she instilled in us! I know that today she would be super proud of all of her kids and grandkids. She always put family first and it shows!
With this story, I hope to reiterate what I have learned from people like my Grandma. The little things matter and how you make people feel daily matters! Care for people, love them with all your heart, and do whatever you can to make them feel safe and comfortable!
Thank you to my Sisters’ for inspiring me to write this!
Feel free to leave me a thought, question, or comment. We learn best together!