Grandparents: She was a Firecracker

This week I’m sharing stories written by three different people each describing what they loved most about their grandparents.  Here’s the second story…


This is the first time Grandma met her great-grandchild.  She was so excited to hold him.  “I’ve been waiting for him a long time.”  She was 89.

Grandma was a firecracker. She spoke her mind and mostly spoke the truth. You didn’t know what she’d say next.  Even as a frail lady of 90, her brain just worked faster than yours.

She’s gone now and it sucks.

She loved to sing. She would sing around the house, in the car, outside, it didn’t matter. Sometimes it wasn’t even a song, just words she said to a tune that sounded like a song.

She taught me the words to O Canada.  I have a vivid memory of riding in the backseat of her burgundy Buick sedan. Grandma was humming music. I asked her to teach me the part:  ‘we stand on guard for thee.’  I pictured Medieval knights defending our borders.  I remember being so excited that she had taken the time to teach me.

She was funny. She made up words and said outrageous things for a reaction.  She liked to tell a story about being a kid and getting a bunch of goats drunk by feeding them fermented fruit.  Visits were always spent sharing laughs.

She couldn’t cook although she tried. She preferred berries from the source and tomatoes from the vine. In her younger days, she kept a large garden. It bloomed with fruits and vegetables each spring; gifts that would make their way to the neighbours, especially the seniors who lived nearby. As she grew older and less mobile, so did the garden. Eventually only a rhubarb patch was left.

She was born in an old house and lived her whole life in a little village that grew. And yet her perspective was impressively worldly.  She was smart and knew about politics, investments, and business.  Her sister was her best friend.  Together they travelled to different parts of the world.

We would get up early, or stay up late, to take advantage of inexpensive long distance times so that we could call her to chat or say good night.

She helped raise us. Our family didn’t have a lot of money growing up.  We left our home when my parents’ business failed and she took us in because we had no place to go. We always felt welcome. We lived there for a few years before moving again. But even after we left, most available weekends were spent at her house. Whenever one of us was sick, she was the first call.

She was meant to care for others – she was a registered nurse who was a mother to five children and 18 grandchildren & great grandchildren. She adored kids and loved animals.

She’s gone now and it sucks.


Writer’s Note: This story was submitted by Betty’s grandson, who wishes to remain anonymous.  We’ve known each other for eighteen years.  His grandmother was the one who asked about school, about roommates, and if he had a girlfriend.  She always said ‘love yah‘ and never let him out of the room without a kiss.  It hasn’t been a year since she’s passed and she’s greatly missed.


One Reply to “Grandparents: She was a Firecracker”

  1. Another beautiful tale of the value of family, love and enduring kindness. Is this something we’ve lost in this fast paced society?
    Can’t wait to hear more!!

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