I know some of you have been waiting to see how my new bedroom looks. It isn’t quite finished. I’m hoping for tomorrow. Thursday at the latest. But here is a peak at one wall. It’s my shrine to my mother and grandmothers. Unfortunately it was dark when I took this picture so you can’t see the lavender walls.
The flower picture was painted by my auntie Betty. She was also a poet and her book of poetry is one of my most special possessions. I am going to ask a cousin for a picture of her.
My great, great, great, great grandmother Lavinia. If reincarnation is a thing, I’m pretty sure I was her. Or she is me.
Next is my nana, Audrey. She was young and beautiful. She was young for a grandmother, 44 when I was born. She smoked cigarettes and painted her nails red. She was the grandma that I could talk to about sex and anything else that was on mind. She was a story teller and planted sweet peas in her garden. I slept over at her house a lot and she taught me to sew. If I visited in the summer I always went home with Sweet Peas wrapped in a paper towel. She also had a cuckoo clock and she would spin it around and around for us. Again, Nana! She always did. She made special tea for the granddaughters called White Rose Tea. It was lots of milk with a little bit of tea and sugar. I miss her so much.
The little girl at 6:00 is my mom as a little girl. I love that picture. And the words miss her do not express the ache I feel when it comes to my mom. Dealing with the death of a loved one gets easier to bear as time goes on but the missing gets worse.
The lady in blue is my step grandma, Peggy. Except I just called her Grandma Peggy. She was so funny! And did people ever love her. I still run into people that knew her. Generous to a fault. She and my papa lived in a tiny apartment where they were also the landlords. They were quite wealthy but gave all their money away. Grandma Peggy died in 1997. When Papa, her husband died the only thing he owned were his clothes and an old recliner. She worked in the cafeteria of a local high school. This from a student that knew her.
“She worked in the cafeteria at Woodlands… we loved her to bits. She was super funny, always happy and a joy for us to be around…..and good for her to put up with 2 fifteen year old girls who drank all the 1/2 and 1/2 milk!
Next is my grandma Olive. She had such a difficult life. I am pretty sure she was molested by her father. But I didn’t know that when I was little. She always wore makeup and panty hose and dressed to the nines. Even in the hospital she wanted to have her panty hose because she was worried what the doctor would think. She was proud, even snobbish at times but I think it was just a cover for fear and brokenness and keeping secrets. If you keep people out, they can’t hurt you. But she loved me. And I knew it. I used to stay overnight at her house too and I would play her organ and she would sing along. She was an excellent cook and was always creating something. The funny thing is, Ichiban Noodles was her favourite! I don’t think she ever cooked anything processed except for those noodles.
Last is my great grandma, Barbara. I was named after her. She raised seven children on her own after her husband left her high and dry. There was no alimony or child support in those days. Being as poor as she was, she still managed to send $5.00 every birthday to each great grandchild. There were a lot of us! She also made beautiful doilies. I still have a few of them. She didn’t live in the same province and died when I was 13 so I don’t have a lot of memories of her. I remember she wrote me letters. I’m pretty sure I wrote back. I wish I would have spent more time getting to know her. But like all my grandmothers, she loved me.