Monday, November 22, 2010

Reminders of Her

My mom and I moved in with my grandmother when I was about 18 months old.  We stayed with her until I was about 13 years old.  So I was raised by two exceptional women.  If changing other circumstances in my childhood meant that I wouldn't be able to spend those years with my grandmother, well, then there is nothing that I would change.

My grandmother died several years ago but she has never left.  I think of her often.  Somtimes those thoughts are brought upon by home baked bread, by knitting mittens or by the mention of the soap opera The Young and the Restless.  In addition to the memories, i also have a couple items around our house that remind me of her when I see them.

I gave these little glass birds to my nan on two consecutive Christmases maybe about twenty years ago after we had moved away.  Each little bird is supposed to bring health and happiness to the receiver.  I love these little birds with their simple lines, chubby round bases and clear glass.

My grandmother's tea cup.  She used it every day in her last years.  So delicate.  I am more of a mug person but my Aunt Jean thought that I would like to her her cup and she was right.  This cup is very much my grandmother.  She was very proper at times.  never left the house without lipstick.   I remember these little (she was a tiny woman) slippers she owned -- high heels with a feathery little pom-pom ornamenting each shoe.  She wore these slippers when visiting someone on special occasions.  I'm afraid I may be painting a picture of my grandmother as a delicate little flower of a woman.  She wasn't.  She was small but strong.  And oh, the first time I saw her dance. . . it was awesome.  I was literally awe-struck as her legs started kicking the air.

This last picture shows a corner of a pair of hand painted clay tiles that I bought a few years ago.  They were made by a Newfoundland artist Michael Osbourne.  Each tile depicts Newfoundland scenery.  The above tile shows a woman picking bakeapples, also called cloud berries, I believe.  My nan loved berry picking.  I did not but I spent many hours berry picking as a child.  Actually, it might be more appropriate to call it berry eating  since I ate the berries once I had filled the small mug I had been given.

I don't think it can be overestimated how important a grandparent can be to children.  Abd don't tell my boys but she also used to let me eat cookies for breakfast.  yup, breakfast.  My sweet tooth reminded her of my grandfather's sweet tooth who passed away shortly after I was born.  I was more than willing to eat those cookies and indulge my sweet tooth.


  1. She sounds wonderful. What a nice post. Happy Monday to you, Tara (and to cookies for breakfast!).

  2. So lovely Tara. I agree about the importance of a grandparent in the life of a child. My grandmother just passed away in April. She was 90 - and the most amazing woman. I am who I am because of her. I have so many wonderful memories and I cherish each and every one.

    I'm so glad you had a wonderful relationship with your nan. She sounds wonderful.
    You can read a bit about

  3. What a beautiful post. I smiled about the soap opera--my 87 year old Nana also loves The Young and the Restless:) She is my only remaining grandparent. I agree with you on the value of grandparents. So much of who I am can be traced to all four of mine, even the ones who died when I was quite young.

  4. Lovely post Tara! And yes, grandparents are truly the best. I can only hope that I will be half of what my grandparents were to day when the grandkids arrive. :-)

  5. I'm so jealous of people who had these relationships with their grandparents. I knew my grandparents, but from afar as they all lived overseas (in two very far apart countries). My husband was very close with his grandmother, and we were very sad that she passed away a year before our son was born.

    My mum now is being the granny I'd always wanted to our son. So the circle completes.

  6. Beautiful post, I don't have many memories of my grandparents. I wish I did. I think about the memories my children are creating of their grandparents. I think I have more work to be done....or more travelling I should say. A close and involved grandparent is a treasure.

  7. oh tara... i'm so glad i read this post. i have been thinking so much about my beloved grandparents lately, both now in heaven (my dad's parents died before i was born, but i had a very close relationship with my mom's parents). i have been wanting to make a post like this too and you are inspiring me to make one sooner than later. i love all your mementos and memories of your nan. i love the part when you tell about your awe watching her legs kick in the air when you first saw her dance. my grandparents live so strongly in me sometimes i feel like they are more parents to me than my own.


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