Just shy of 90 years of life my grandmother whom I affectionately called Grams had a lot to offer this world in terms of advice.
Grams was born in 1926, a completely different world, she didn’t always understand everything I did but she supported and loved regardless.
With that being said in the nearly 25 years I was lucky enough to know her she taught me so much, that I will carry my entire life.
- She taught me family is first. She was the matriarch of our family, and she always put her kids, grandkids and great grandkids before herself no matter what they’ve done good or bad, forgiving any mistakes.
- She taught me strength and grace. Regardless of what was going on in my grandmother’s life, her children and grandchildren weren’t always aware. If she was in pain, or struggling she handled it herself and made sure we didn’t struggle with her. And it wasn’t because she didn’t want to lean on her family when she needed it, but because she was the pillar of strength in our family, she knew we were there for her but she also knew we needed her.
- Respect your mother. As a child I would get mad at my mother for trivial things, as every child does. My grandmother would say “now Kaylea that is your mother you best be nice to her”, when I was 7 this didn’t carry much weight. But now as an adult and a mother myself it speaks volumes. My mother birthed me, my mother has made countless sacrifices for me time and time again, the least I could do is be nice to my mother.
- Always enjoy a good fatty meal. This one was big with Grams, every week she would ask, Kayl you want to get burgers and ice capps? The answer was always yes. First she would tell me how great I looked so I felt less guilty enjoying some crap food. But we ate it all, with no regrets.
- People don’t need to know everything. You can keep the little things to yourself. As a child, if you make a mess its ok to not tell your parents as long as you clean it up or hide it really well.
- If your mom or aunt’s say no, just ask Grams. If they say no to a popsicle, just wait till they go out and grab grandma one too and its all good. Grandma has your back.
- Always care and worry about everyone else before yourself. Grams was very selfless. She would care about everyone, neighbours, strangers, even celebrities. She taught me that I should care about everyone and worry about their needs just as much as much if not more than my own needs. Everyone is struggling with something, be aware of that and showing them how much you care could be what they need.
- Don’t stop believin’ and stay true to your loves. Grams was a hardcore fan of the Toronto Maple Leafs and she never stopped believing they could go all the way, not for a second. Anyone who tried to dis her team, she spoke up for her team. It seems silly, but it carry’s over into many things. When I believe in something, I strongly believe in it, I do not let someone put my beliefs down or make them seem insignificant. I guess in a sense she taught me strength again.
- Always believe in everyone, and don’t diminish a person’s worth. My grandmother raised a child with cerebral palsy, she never once for a moment doubted her daughter’s worth or strength. My aunt could do anything and everything, just a little differently. This taught me to look beyond someone’s disability. Kids used to stare at my aunt and I remember thinking why are they looking at her like that? My grandmother would just tell me they aren’t lucky enough to know someone as special as my aunt. So to get to the point, I know my strength and I don’t diminish anyone else’s worth because my Grams taught me just that.
My Grams was an incredible woman, she was the family matriarch and anyone who knew her should consider themselves lucky. Everything she taught me I will carry with me forever, and pass on to Karter. I was lucky enough to know my Grams for nearly 25 years, I share so many memories with her, this list is just a few of the many things she taught me over the years.
This is one of my favourite photos of her. You can see just how much she loved her family; and the legacy she left behind. She is so dearly missed already.