Hey everyone – I know I haven’t posted in a while. If you know us personally, you’ll know that my Grandmother actually just passed away at the end of last month so I actually travelled home for the funeral. I just wanted to take a minute to pay tribute to my amazing grandmother, because I’ll miss her a lot. Since I was updating everyone our past visits, the next post will be about my visit back in both October and a few weeks ago. Then we’ll get back on track with our other travels! 🙂
My grandmother was an amazing woman who was loved by many people. She always had a smile on her face, and always made others feel welcome. In fact, no matter what we did, even when she caught me staying up late watching TV in the middle room when we would spend the night, she would still have a smile on her face and was always kind. She never forgot to send me a card or call on my birthday. And even living far away in Ireland, she still always made it a point to video call me every so often while she was still able to do so.
I wish I knew what Grandma would say to comfort us if she was here right now; or what she would think if she was watching. I know she would appreciate all of the beautiful music, the flower arrangements, and seeing everyone dressed in their best – because she loved those things all the time.
She did always love looking her best, and I was especially reminded of this when looking back at old photos the other day. Not only did she love looking her best, she always loved when everyone else looked their best. It started off as kids with matching clothes for my cousin Danielle and I – and I know this happened with all of us grandkids. Although we were about 2 weeks apart, in her eyes we were pretty much twins and always needed to be identically dressed. Like seriously, we got matching clothes until we were nearly 16 years old.
But it wasn’t just getting us things she thought we would enjoy or look good in it. She LOVED capturing how amazing we all looked in our latest fashions. No matter how often we came to visit, or how old we were, every single visit always ended in a prom style photo shoot. She would take every combination of photos she thought possible before we were allowed to leave. And she loved sharing those photos everyone. If you’ve ever been inside her house, all of the cupboards are covered in photos of her children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren. It was her favourite thing in the world to show us off. But who could blame her, I mean come on… we’re a pretty good looking bunch of kids and grandkids, right?
But it’s not just us all dressed our best that she would’ve loved. She would have appreciated the music too. The way she adored music was enjoyed by and inspired many, especially myself. Because of her I learned the piano, I learned to sing, I learn to appreciate the beauty that was music. The way it could allow you express emotion when you were dealing with a tough time. Almost every memory I have of my grandmother involves music of some sort. Childhood? We were getting a bushel and a peck. Christmas? Get ready for the silver bells. Church time? How great thou art.
I thought to myself over the past few days, I never saw grandma express an emotion other than excitement and happiness when I was around her. Although maybe I did and didn’t realise it. Maybe the music was how she expressed it. Whether or not that was the case, we can all agree that she expressed all music beautifully all the time. And because of her, I will always turn to music to cope with difficult times.
It’s hard to put into a few words how Grandma helped me – and so many other people – become who we are today. Watching her continue to raise her adult children, care for her grandkids, great-grandkids and even grandpa, taught me that you don’t have to be a movie star or fly to the moon to be a success.
I also want to take a minute to say that if you’re ever looking for a charity to donate to, I really hope you donate to a charity supporting Alzheimer’s. My grandfather suffered from Alzheimer’s, and my grandmother from dementia as the result of a few strokes. Despite what some people think, dementia and Alzheimer’s is NOT part of the normal ageing process, and more research needs to be done to find causes and treatments for Alzheimer’s and dementia. I urge you to look into the following two groups if you get a chance.