General18 Feb 2009 04:56 pm

I’m not one to get overly personal on my blog, but I just wanted to note that today would have been my grandmother’s 90th birthday. She passed away this summer, relatively suddenly.

Although I had not initially wanted to speak at her memorial service, I decided to after penning something in the early hours during the days between learning of her death and the service. I don’t know if you are like me, but I do not find myself taking pen to paper very often these days, and it was extremely cathartic to let loose. The thoughts came and went quickly, and I’m glad I made the effort to record them that morning at 4am.

At the service, I read my writing almost verbatim. It was hard, but easy at the same time.

So please excuse this brief lapse into the personal realm.

eulogy for anne

my summers belonged to granny. i used to look forward to the months we would spend at her place, a respite from the crazy places we were living. a time of normalcy, having bacon and eggs, drinking milk from bags, riding bikes, swinging on swings, eating raspberries, watching ‘the stories’ and jeopardy. tory and i would scrounge in her freezer for cookies meant for christmas. she’d always pretend not to notice.

my mornings belonged to granny. i used to be up at the crack of dawn, eyes open, laying in bed. i would never dare step on the creaky stairs downstairs (which were above her head), afraid I might wake her before she was ready to get up. i used to listen for her accordion door to clatter open, then the toilet flush, the coffee machine burp and percolate, and at one point, her cigarette lighter click. then i would go down, and sit with her a while.

on the trip we took to hawaii in 2007, gran and kristy shared the bedroom with two twin beds, and i slept in the main room of the house we rented. midway on our first night, kristy moved out and slept on one of the benchstyle beds beside me. we didn’t talk about it right away, but the next night, when gran’s thunderous snoring woke me, i realized, both mine and kristy’s nights belonged to granny.

i have so many sweet memories of her. chasing those “god damned cats” out of her garden. packing egg salad sandwiches early in the morning before fishing trips. Listening to the clicking of the dice in the Yahtzee cup late into the night.

at the end of every summer came the hardest part, saying goodbye. Granny would stand at the back door, waving, waving, waving. Following our car down the alley, as we turned onto Lillian Street, then down the hill, until she was a dot at the crest of the hill getting smaller and smaller. but still waving.

and now, my memories (these and others) will live on. Every time I make her recipe for perogies or cabbage rolls I will think of her.

Even my non food entries have a food slant to them! Very fitting since my Grandmother was an amazing cook and baker and always had something on the go for visitors. She continued gardening up until her 88th year as well.

Only recently I came to know that my Gran’s moose and wild mushroom stew was famous (she and my grandfather both hunted in northern Ontario). It gave me great satisfaction to carry on the tradition, and think of Gran when I made a batch in January, using moose Mike had harvested in this fall’s hunt.


I shot this on our trip to Hawaii in 2007. She lived out her lifelong dreams of touching the ocean and seeing wild turtles: dozens of them feeds on the rocks, steps from our beachfront house. She was enthralled, and refused to come back to the house to eat one morning. So we bundled her in a blanket, sat her in a chair and brought her oatmeal so she could watch the huge turtles bob, eating their breakfast.

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