Grandparents: She was my Best Friend

We all have a soft spot – that person who is such an important part of our lives.  This week, three people opened up and shared that person with me, and in turn many others.

Thank you Emma, Betty’s grandson, and Char.   It’s not easy to write about someone you miss.  I hope you enjoyed the process of sharing them, who they were and what you loved about them, with others.

Here’s the the third story…

Joyce Hendry

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I chose this photo because the way I feel about my grandma has never changed.  She meant as much to me when I was three years old as she does today (even though she’s passed on).

 

My grandma was my best friend. I knew that having a best friend that was older was going to be very difficult at some point in my life and the closer I got to her, the harder it would be to let go.

I was right.

She was a strong and independent woman who carried herself with grace and held the family together. She was logical in her reasoning and always knew the right thing to say or do in any situation. Being around my grandma put me at ease knowing that I had someone in my life I could always count on.

She was the feeling of ‘home.’

Even when I was going through something I didn’t think she could relate to, my grandma was always there.  Without judgement and an open mind.

She had a sense of humour. You wouldn’t think of pranking just any grandparent, but with a grandma like mine, it was okay.  Here’s a story…

I was a teenager standing in my grandparents’ kitchen grabbing a glass from the kitchen cupboard. I rinsed out the glass using the sink spray hose and had a eureka moment:

(1) I noticed I had a black hair band around my wrist

(2) the spray hose handle was also black and my hair band would easily blend in

(3) if the hair elastic blended in, someone would eventually need to go to the kitchen and turn on the sink

(4) if someone turned on the tap with the spray head, it would be priceless.

I urged grandma to turn on the tap.  “Drink more water…Wash your hands…”  along with a bunch of other subtle hints but with no success. So I gave up on the idea and just forgot about it.  I left the house and went out to meet up with a few friends.

About four hours later I got back to grandma’s house.   She was standing in the middle of the kitchen. Beside her, on the floor, was a tool box, a disassembled kitchen drain pipe, and a few tools scattered around.

She said with a smirk, “We spent two hours trying to fix the sink.”  

I’m not sure how other grandmothers would respond to such a prank but my grandma just laughed.

We had a similar sense of humour; our sense of humour often got us in trouble.  

When someone would fall down or get mildly hurt (kind of like in America’s Funniest Home Videos), we wouldn’t be able to hold it in.   We would burst out laughing in synchrony and wait for that ‘someone’ in the room to say, It’s not funny you know. It’s not nice to laugh at someone when they’re hurt.

She was my best friend.

My grandma taught me to have faith, to pray when I’m lost and when I’m not, to help others more than myself, not to compete with others but only strive to be better than I was yesterday, to have understanding and empathy for other people, to be patient, to build character, not to be afraid of the future, to always do the right thing especially when no one is looking, not to value money but to know the value of money “because this will you further in life,” to save money for a rainy day, to follow my heart but lead with logic, to have patience, that I should never “sleep with a hardened heart,” to forgive others easily, to be cautious, not to say anything if I don’t have something nice to say, to protect other people’s feelings, to pursue an education, to be strong, and to always have a sense of humour.

I miss her.

I miss her hugs. I miss her advice. I miss baking with her. We used to hum together while we baked. I don’t bake anymore because it makes me sad. I miss sitting beside her in the sunroom just talking. I miss waking up to the smell of freshly brewed coffee in the morning and sitting with her in silence. I miss her scent and I really miss her voice. I just really miss her.

I miss you grandma.
I just wanted to say ‘I love you’ one last time.
But I never got the chance.

 

Author’s Note:  This story was shared by Joyce’s granddaughter, Charlene.  Char was a stranger I met three weeks ago in a coffee shop.  True story.  We talked for two and a half hours about work, travel, and our grandmas.  I knew her grandmother was special to her when she shared that it’s been almost 9 years since she passed and I could see that she had a hard time talking about her.  I could relate.  So when I thought about writing this grandparents series, the first person who came to mind was Char.  I hope you enjoyed her writing.

I’ve really enjoyed the process of sharing others stories.  Learning more about their families, hearing the great little stories, and putting their writing together in a way that will hopefully touch others.  I think I’ll continue to do little series like these as I continue to do my own blogging.

If you have great stories to share, I’m sure you do, send me a message.  I’d love to write with you.