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.