Friday, November 13, 2009

As Long as I'm Living, My Granny You'll Be

For as long as I can remember, I have always watched my Granny with a certain amount of awe. When I was little, I wanted to be just like her. I made her teach me Romanian, show me how to bake and cook just like her, and was on my knees next to her in the garden pulling anything (and everything, much to her dismay on occasion!!) out that looked like a weed. She often told a story about how when I was little she would hear me pulling up a stool next to her and hear me say, "Grandma, I help you, and I pomise I won't touch ANYTHING" She would always throw her head back, laugh and clap as she said, "And of course, you touched everything". See that's the kind of Grandma we had as kids.. the kind who reveled in those little moments, those moments that as parents, we can't always find the humor in!

As I have grown into a mother and wife myself, now more than ever I want to be just like my Granny. I still haven't ever tasted food as good as my Granny's, there has never been any garden that was as weeded and tended too (certainly not in my backyard! haha), and given any tattered piece of material it became new again like magic under her trusty Singer. If I could be half the house wife my Granny was, Mike would be one lucky man!!!

So about a month ago, my Granny had a stroke that took her speech from her. I was kind of dreading going to visit her at the hospital because what would my Granny be without her wisdom that both made me laugh, and warmed me up inside. You know, the kind of stuff that made you feel like the smartest, prettiest, most important ten year old on the planet.. and let me tell you, getting a ten year old Brittany to feel that way MUST have been hard!! (For example, she once told me, "You're not chubby, just athletic").

So when we got to the hospital she was waiting for us, and started clapping and smiling so big I instantly was transformed back into that ten year old that needed a little reassurance that I was ok. She looked like Grandma, said a few things like Grandma (I would like to take this moment to point out that she said, Benji and Mikey.. NOT Brittany. I knew she always had a little crush on Mike! hahaha) and despite the whole speech barrier, I had one of the best visits I've had with her in a long time. She danced around the room (after being told how fabulous she looked in her new outfit my mom got for her) and we crawled into her bed and laid down together while watching the Weather Network (a perennial favorite with the women in my family.. ).

As we were driving back to Regina from Moose Jaw, I couldn't get the Robert Munsch book , "Love you Forever" out of my head. I remember I read it for the first time in a LOOOONG time sitting in Starbucks at Chapters and cried my eyes out, because after having my own little baby, it meant a whole lot more. But this time it wasn't the beginning, but the end that suddenly mean a whole lot more.

"The son went to his mother.
He picked her up and rocked her
back and forth, back and forth,
back and forth.
And he sang this song:
I'll love you forever
I'll like you for always,
As long as I'm living
my Mommy you'll be."

You see, I watched my mom gently change my granny into a new outfit, fix her hair, and smile at her in almost the same way she looks at my kids, and say, "Oh Mom, you look so pretty". And after a long visit, went back up the hospital and tucked her into her bed that night and told her to have a good sleep and she'd see her in the morning. It was right then and there that I realized, not only that us woman are pretty amazing creatures, but that we always know the right thing to do and say at the right time. And that in every phase of our lives (daughters, sisters, mothers, aunts, and grandmothers) we are so important to the rest of the women in this crazy cycle thing called life.

And in this crazy thing called life, I've been blessed (oh, and at some moments I might also say cursed) with so many strong women to look to for help, advice and guidance. And, although I know it wasn't my teeny tiny little Granny who started this whole line of crazy(in the best way possible) women, I'd like to think she had an awful lot to do with it!!