Four weeks ago, as we pulled out of the driveway at a ridiculous hour in the morning to be dropped off at the airport, Seth got a call. It was his mum telling him that grandma had just passed. Though we knew it was coming, it was still a shock. And in Seth’s words: “trust grandma to choose to go on friday the 13th, and on the day you’re leaving!”. He was dropping Olivia and I at the airport because we were going on trip that had been planned for over six months.
It was hard to get on the plane and leave him behind because I knew he would be sad even if he was pretending to be ok with it. But sometimes life throws things at us and we have to deal with them. I was able to make it back just in time for the memorial service and what a great service it was.
Family came from all over and it was a celebration of Grandma Prociw’s life. At 97 she saw a lot of things, from the first cars driving along the McKenzie Hwy and alcohol prohibition to the first TV, phone and video calling. She had seen plenty, and though she put up a fight, she was ready to go. And thus we celebrated her with pierogies, rum cake and other delicious Ukranian treats – all her favourites of course.
Most of us are scared of saying goodbye to a loved one. Especially when it’s a final goodbye, but what we have to think about, is that those loved ones need to be celebrated and honored with joy, the joy they brought to our lives, the lessons they taught us, the heritage they’ve give un and the legacy they’ve left us. And then there’s the memories that were made. I’ll never forget her excitement at finding out we shared a birthday, how happy she got every time Seth went to visit her, or my favourite – the happiness a jar of homemade applesauce would bring, she was giddy like a little child with it in her hands – down to not even considering sharing it, I can still remember just how excited she was when we gave her some a couple of Christmases ago. And bacon. Oh, how much she loved bacon! & these are just some of the memories we made in the last seven years, I can’t even begin to imagine the memories of everybody else who had known her for longer.
Here’s to the celebration of life and making memories with those who really matter. The ones who allow us to come to their house, make a big mess and then leave it for them to pick it up and never complain about it, the ones that spoils us when we’re little and then continue to do so as adults. Here’s to grandparents.