Single handedly raised 5 children, was a Grandmother to 10 children and a Great Grandmother to 12 little ones.
Her heart broke forever when she lost her eldest son, John.
She was a no nonsense women. She would tell you what she thought; there was no beating around the bush when she was around. She had an opinion and would let you hear it but her eyes always watered up when she told you how much she loved you.
She loved food. Not the fancy stuff, just the meat and potatoes. She loved beets, Swiss chard, new potatoes with butter, baked beans, Chinese food, a good steak and a dollop of cheese whiz (not to mention peanut butter...).
She loved to talk about her down East roots and she could take back a fresh lobster like nobodies business- sucking the sea water out of the legs and everything.
She loved to garden and preserve. Her signature preserve was a mean bottle of mustard pickles and her canned pears were so fresh and sweet on dull winter’s day. She loved marigold flowers, and she loved to grow fresh vegetables.
She loved cats and always had time to snuggle one on her lap.
She could conquer an impossible crossword when everyone else had given up. She had a keen mind, loved Jeopardy, and playing card games. She was a bit of a card shark.
She loved baseball and was The Toronto Jays biggest fan.
She made the best apple crisp, and chocolate cookies with walnuts that would melt in your mouth.
She liked a tidy house and there was no excuse for poor manners at her table.
She worked hard all her life whether it when she was taking care of her children or her grandchildren, working to support her family in the earlier years, or working at our family’s store to lend a helping hand. She always took care of everyone- making sure we were well fed.
Gran loved to talk about the old days on the farm and about her family. She always loved to hear about my farm shenanigans.
She loved the smell of laundry fresh off the line and grocery shopping.
What I will miss most is just being in her presence, just sitting next to her with a cup of the strongest tea imaginable and marveling over her memory as she told me stories about when she was younger. I have never met another woman as strong and determined as my Gran. She ploughed on when others would have given up.
We loved to talk about food and baking and flip through food magazines. She always was there to help me out of a knitting rut and she helped me with my first canning catastrophe.
Gran was always around if I needed some plain old practical advice.
I will miss her dearly but I know that she will forever be a part of who I am as a mother, sister and as a women. I take comfort in knowing that she is no longer in pain.
This is for you Gran with all my love,