Forever My Golden Hearts, My Grandparents
The Program Who do you think you Are has a tag line that says: To know who you are, you have to know where you come from.
Well, I know that I come from some of the finest people this earth has ever seen.
I’m not been blessed to have parents in my present life experience, but I knew the unconditional love of my grandparents.
They were always there for me (for us), but really stepped up when their son Edward (my father) completed suicide in 1984.
They taught me so many things, but the most important thing they taught me, was To Give.
On the outside, their life to some may seem ordinary, but to know their life, was nothing less than extraordinary.
They lived a simple and quiet life in Zelma – a place so small, it is not considered a town, but a hamlet.
They went to Church in Young every week.
They washed their laundry together on a ringer-washer and hung it on the clotheslines each and every Monday.
They got the paper delivered to them by their neighbor and friend Mr.Shout, every day when he was done with it at lunchtime.
Supper was at 5 pm sharp every day.
They grew flowers and fruit and their garden was 60 feet wide by at least 120 feet long. They did not need that amount of food, but they grew it because they had the land. It was just what they did, it gave them a purpose, and it enabled them to share one of the most precious things (outside of love and time) – food.
Surviving a depression, they never forgot what it was like to ‘not have’ and ‘to go without’, so they shared whatever they could throughout their entire lives.
I never left their home without a trunkful of food and household goods. I didn’t buy laundry soap until I moved to Calgary when I was 30.
No matter who you were, you never left empty handed or empty hearted.
They were nominated for this award by a single mother that lived in Zelma for a number of years, and though she had moved away from Zelma with her 3 children, she never forgot how they helped her family, so when she came across an add in a newspaper about a program that Air Canada launched looking for people who improved the quality of life of others around them, she shared her story.
My grandparents got to know this woman through her children. One of the boys had come down to see if my grandpa could put some air in one of his bike tires. Through this simple interaction, they quickly built a relationship with the entire family.
Here are just a few things they did:
My grandmother was very saddened when she discovered what these kids had in their lunch pails. And so, from that day forward, she made 3 lunches every school morning for over 4 years.
My grandfather and his little brother Garet, were the handy men for countless things.
If my grandmother got wind of a problem or an issue, like the appliances, the roof, the furnace. They were summoned to go & give it a look.
They watched the kids when their mom had to go to Saskatoon.
Every Easter, my grandfather always included them in his chocolate bunny purchases. No one ever went without a birthday cake and card.
My grandparents’ list of contributions to their communities only grew.
If there was a funeral, you can guarantee that you’d be getting a delivery of baked goods along with a lot of love and support.
Their love and efforts benefited countless people that spanned decades. Not a bad legacy to be a part of!
In my life, and in my work, ‘giving back’ has always been practiced.
My clients unwanted items are donated when ever possible.
Often, people don’t realize how the simplest things can benefit others.
Old blankets and towels can be given to animal shelters and rescue groups.
Art supplies, board games and costumes be given to a school or any number of programs.
You just have to ask around, and you’ll find someone.
I think of my grandparents often but they are always with me when summer arrives.
When I’m working with the soil, enjoying the sounds of nature in my yard, I am grounded by the earth and by them.
The connection is one in the same.
Sharing meals and spending time with clients and friends outside, brings me joy and satisfaction.
They were not the kind of people to make a fuss about themselves, but this acknowledgement meant a great deal.
I now am the proud owner and keeper of these precious artifacts. Each time I wear one of the pins, I walk a little taller and my heart grows a little bigger because I know the best lessons are the ones that came from them simply by being who they were.
I will forever be grateful to have come from them, and to have been loved by them.