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From This Granddaughter's Heart

15/09/2015 12:20


It would be a Captain Obvious statement to say the same thing over again about having found my way of being in a feisty love kind of living.  Over the years of life with type 1 diabetes & other “365’s” I have described how the feisty rascal who I have grown into has provided strength for life’s journey.  Where did this feisty rascaliness originate from though?  Like a delicious recipe don’t you find that our families sprinkle in a little of this & a little of that.  There are no words fine enough to share just how blessed of a rascal I know I am to be a part of the extended families that I belong to.  If feistiness is really strength dressed up in an advocating role then many of us wear this well.  If feistiness is standing up for what is right & having a voice wouldn’t we all want this stirred into us all?  Life after all has mountains & valleys for every single one of us on this earth.  Different qualities get each one of us through the valleys.  For me having a good sized helping of inherited feistiness is what gets me through it all & with a touch of rascaliness stirred in intentionally.  If you are feisty where did that come from?  If asked that question I have always known that my feistiness came from my Grandma Brown. 

As a funny aside it always made me laugh so much when people who had not met my Gran would relay a picture in their heads about the grandma “type.”  They thought Grandma was a stereotype baking cookies, taking it easy, pinching cheeks & speaking sweet nothings.   My Grandma broke that stereotype & then some.  Gran was one of the strongest people I have ever known.    How great to love your Grandma while you are a child & also as an adult.  As a kid my Grandma was a hoot mostly because of the antics between she & Grandpa.  Grandma you could get going as she was one to get her feelings out & Grandpa was a gentle giant always dear to my heart with a rascal humourous streak.  My favourite example of Grandpa Brown & his ability to get Grandma going was one time when he was late for dinner.  Dinner time at their place was exactly 5pm.  Grandpa came home late for dinner one evening & had tipped a few beverages back with his army friends prior to getting home so he was even more rascally than usual.  Grandma was hitting the high notes as far as her patience went by the time Grandpa opened the door to their home.  She let him know in no uncertain terms that she was not impressed about him being late for dinner.  Grandpa though continued to egg her on & joke around.  Who needs a stress ball when you have a freshly made lemon meringue pie!  Grandma grabbed the pie & threw it in his face.  Grandpa simply smiled  & replied, “you could have put more sugar in the lemon Ev!” 

As an adult I got to learn more of Grandma’s story & I understood & appreciated the gift of the feisty.  Grandpa left us way too soon (heaven is richer having him there) & Grandma was only 53 & had already lived through many of life’s valleys yet you never heard her moan or groan.  She got on with continuing to run her several apple orchards, pie making, preserves for the fruitstand & managed several catering jobs during the winter months.  She was one to pitch in wherever needed without ever being asked.  She was a doer big time & worked harder than three people put together on any given day.  You did not have to wonder where you stood with her because she communicated her feelings unapologetically herself.  I loved that about her & have been embracing that way of being for a couple of decades myself though it is not second nature.  I had a remarkable teacher in this feisty lady.  Last week our family lost our feisty, fierce matriarch.  Within each & every family member though I see such strength & fierce love of family that we all learned through Gran’s example.  Last Friday I had the privilege of sharing from this Granddaughter’s heart just a snapshot of a Grandma who was so easy to draw strength from, laugh with & to love fiercely.  Being an advocate is the easiest, most natural thing in the world for me although at times it seems like I am doing it from the back of the classroom in a voice that is still increasing .  The feisty is there though & it is growing & I am grateful for this gift that came from one incredible Grandma.  May you too have a source of strength & some feisty wells to draw upon so that as you journey through the valleys of life that you know you can get through anything.  And hey why not be a bit of a rascal while you are at it I say.  Here are the words shared last Friday in honour of my feisty role model.


We all share a bond that started with someone feisty & fierce in a great kind of way.

I would love to share a few memories from a grandchild’s heart. 

If there was just one word to describe Grandma Brown it is “cool.”  Many of us know firsthand that Grandma was no wallflower.  She had a feisty cool way that was all her own.  I got to see my Gran in many different roles.  What I will always love best is that she was exactly the same every time.  She was our Grandma that spoke her mind.    

She was my very first boss in 2 different jobs.  The first job was at the fruit stand that Grandma & Grandpa built. That was where I learned the difference between work ethic, Grandma’s intolerance for slackers as well as her intolerance for weak tea.  First thing in the morning during the Fall each weekend Grandma pulled into our driveway & off we went to the fruit stand.  You could gauge Grandma’s level of passion about any given subject by her driving.  Any of us who have been one of her passengers knows that it was best to keep chit chat light because when she got feisty about a subject she took her eyes completely off the road & turned & looked you right in the eyes while going 80kms an hour.  Yikes!  I loved that first job big time though.  Grandma taught sales, marketing & provided bakers training all in the course of a day.  Grandma’s pies were legendary.  She never could however quite understand my consistent difficulty in selling the last pie each day.  Little did she know that Grandpa checked in at the fruit stand & with a wink he said every Saturday & Sunday, “Saundie maybe there will be a pie left over for dessert tonight?”  Grandpa can now let you in on that wee secret. 

Grandma was my boss at Blue Mountain as well.  Everyone there respected her.  There were no slackers & for sure the person that always was right in there working even harder right by your side was Gran.  I got to see her encourage & listen to many young people working with her.  If someone said or did anything rude or unfair Gran got right in front of that.  She had your back for sure.  More times than I can count people at that job told me that I have one cool grandma. 

In the community & within family & friendships Grandma had a heart of gold & is the definition of kindness put into action.  She was rolling up her sleeves & making pies & other delicious treats for any occasion & made it seem like no big deal at all.  One memory that is especially dear to me is when my Dad was in the hospital & Grandma came up to visit him complete with a huge joke file. Some of them should have been censored :) She read out the jokes & made quite a difference.  Then as she was leaving she turned to my Mom & I and matter of factly said “stop in for dinner on the way home.”  By the time we got to her place she had made a delicious dinner complete with warm raspberry pie with raspberries picked from her garden.  She made you know that she cared through these countless acts of kindness.

There are 2 examples of Grandma’s cool factor that are my favourites of all.  My oldest son Matthew has a Kiss poster on the wall in his room.  When his buddies come over they ask him where he got the poster & if he had been to a concert.  “No, I haven’t been to a concert” he replies but my Grandma & Great Grandma went & they brought back this poster for me!”  The reply from the buddies is always the same, “you have pretty cool grandmas.”  How many 20 something year olds would ask their grandma to go on a 2 week trip to Mexico?  When you have a cool grandma you sure do!  What a hoot that trip together was.  Grandma was convinced that between the 2 of us that we could surely master speaking Spanish well enough to go to a restaurant & order anything.  We ended up receiving something that resembled shrimp soup although we were not ordering fish at all & we just laughed & ate it.  Somehow we got onto the subject of drinks we had never tried & decided that we should try long island iced tea at our resort.  When the drinks arrived, I took 2 sips & fed the rest to the plant next to me.  How about Grandma though?  She drank every drop.  After that she literally had a crowd of vacationers around her as she described many of her experiences.  For the rest of the vacation our dining table was full of new friends wanting to hear more of the cool grandma’s stories.  What a character.

It has been fun over the years catching Grandma off guard with a joke of your own.  When I stay at mom & dad’s I like to answer their phone with “Joe’s bait shop, if you’ve got the dough I’ve got the roe.”  One time grandma called over & I said that & she immediately hung up & got in her car & came over to mom & dad’s place.  When she got there she knew she had been pranked & you can insert the word that she used to describe that one. 

In a great kind of fierce & feisty way there is only one thing that I know for sure & that is that love absolutely lasts forever.  Well and that the tea is not strong enough unless the spoon melts in it.  Thank you grandma for your legacy of fierce & feisty love.  Xo


With a wink to heaven,


This past weekend my Mom & Dad & I picked some beautiful apples & pears from Grandma’s orchards on a day out that I am sure she ordered up because it was one of those rare perfect days outside.  There will not be as much rascaliness for me to get involved in this week since my labour of love will be to make these apples into pies.  Grandma & I made hundreds of pies literally together over the years.  The secret ingredient to our pies is a pinch of rascal and a lot of feistiness stirred in ;)  Be extra gentle with yourself, find something to have a belly laugh about & stand up for something that matters every single day.  Hug the stuffing out of all your Dear Ones while you are at it.  As a little rascal sharing for today, I started my light therapy finally at the hospital this morning & as I was leaving the hospital a gentleman that I don’t know said to me “good morning Doctor.”  I smiled & decided not to correct him as the closest thing to a doctor that I am is Dr. Seuss ha ha!    My next story sharing will be on Monday September 28th.  xo