06 July 2009

Memory Lane

Today was difficult. Mom, hubby and I went to Grammy and Grampy’s grave. I knew I would have a hard time, even ten years after Grammy’s death, but I don’t think even I was prepared for a complete emotional meltdown. Essentially, Grammy is the only Grandparent that I truly got to know growing up. My maternal Grandfather passed away before I was born and my maternal Grandmother followed when I was six years old. While I do remember my paternal Grandfather, Grampy, sadly the bulk of my memories recall him struggling with the aftermath of a very bad stroke that slurred his speech and weakened both mind and body. Needless to say, despite the long distance between Ottawa and Moncton, I latched on to my Grammy and adored every ounce of her. Some of my happiest memories from childhood involve whiling away hot summer afternoons on her porch talking until the sun went down. In my teenage years she was not only a grandmother but a friend and confidant. To be honest, I don’t think I’ll ever quite get over the loss. Being in the Maritimes is bittersweet – reliving my childhood in many ways but also painfully aware that I’ll never see her again.

With a first hard part of the day over (and several tissues later), we made our way past the old O’Brien house when Grammy was raised and lived until the day she died. It was a beautiful old home, replete with lots of happy memories. A part of me was very sad when the house was sold by my uncle and I wasn’t sure how I would feel seeing it again. Thankfully my face broke out into a wide grin when we rounded the corner onto John street – nothing much has changed. In fact, it looks like the new owners have kept the place neat and tidy; I know Grammy would love to see it that way. Hubby parked the car while I got out and took several pictures of the home. Had I the nerve, I would have liked to ring the doorbell to see if the new owners would let me snoop but it just didn’t seem right somehow; it’s their home now.

All in all, it was an emotional day but a necessary one. I feel like I had that “visit” hanging over my head and now I feel more at ease with myself. I know Grammy would have scolded me in that trembly Edith Bunker-like voice of hers, “Don’t be sad you fool, go out and enjoy yourself. Why not go for a walk and buy yourself a cute new outfit.” Don’t worry Grammy, that’s exactly what I did!

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