I bet no one ever thought a jumbo box of sympathy cards, packaged up like Christmas cards, would be a very big seller. But boy, do I wish I could buy a box like that today. Because the world lost a special lady this morning and I know she is going to be missed by a lot of people, and especially by a lot of people I care a lot about.
Anyone who read my post “Reunion-bound” read that we were heading to meet up with a woman (known to most as Grammy), her ten children, most of the ten’s children, most of the ten’s children’s children, and even one of the ten’s children’s child’s brand new baby child, and of course all of the delightful, wonderful stragglers our group of campers picked up along the way.
It was a great trip and there was a lot of buzz about it being Grammy’s last reunion. Maybe I didn’t want to believe that. But it turned out to be true.
I normally only refer to myself, my husband and my pets by their actual names but that doesn’t feel right for this post because I grew up knowing “Grammy,” as Mrs. Anderson. Not sure why, probably just to avoid confusion with the other grandmothers in my life. It was a friendly, respectful title- not as formal as may sound.
As I sit here going through memories of Mrs. Anderson, I can’t come up any one specific moment. It’s a swirling tapestry of memories: of her in her blue choir robe at Dunbar United Church, her and my Grandpa talking and playing cards, talk of dandelion wine, “The Uncles,” a van and cots, the image of my husband carrying off a bottle of scotch at 4 pm for a “date” with her, fancy canes, fishing-type hats, many smiles, her distinctive voice, and many people.
Mostly I remember her kind of always being there while I was growing up except when disasters had struck and I’d overhear she’d travelled somewhere to volunteer with the Red Cross.
To say she lived an amazing, complete life and that she loved many much and was loved much by many is like saying the ocean is kind of big and has some water in it.
I know no one like her nor have I even heard of anyone like her.
I do know that without her not only would I not have all my “pseudo” -cousins and -aunts and -uncles but also a host of other amazing people. These folks, from every walk of life, never would have crossed my path if she wasn’t part of our lives. Many are who they are; some in small ways, some in very big ways, because of her.
Including the love of my life, my husband.
So, goodbye and thank you Mrs. Grammy Anderson, you are very much missed. So glad we just spent one last camping trip with you. I know what many of us will be thinking about today at 4 pm.
I am certain you are enjoying the reunion you’re attending now.
To all of her many family and friends, I’m thinking of you and you’re in my heart today and if there is a silver lining, it’s that I look forward to hearing all of your memories.
Update Thursday August 15: Here is a link to Mrs. Vera Anderson’s Obituary