We celebrate a birth but rarely do we thoroughly celebrate a life well lived. But this week I am celebrating the life of my grandmother, Susan Thelma Pace, who passed away at the age of 100. My grandmother believed in fairy tale stories and told them to me whenever I slept over, which was a lot. She believed in soul love and always told me I’d know when I found the one (thanks Gram you were right). Magic was a part of life around her. She read tea leaves, had “funny” feelings, believed in ghosts and was determined to live to 100 to receive her letter from the Queen, which she did in November 2011. She was very proud of that letter. Royalty meant a lot to her.
I was there with my grandmother until the end, her very last breath in fact, and to me it was a very special moment I had the pleasure of sharing with one of my uncles. My grandmother grew up in a time when people used seaweed to insulate their homes. In fact, they built their homes with their own hands. It was a horse-drawn wagon they used to get around and your immediate neighbors were key, because travelling to town was more than an all-day event. Hunting, fishing, growing vegetables was what you ate. My grandmother lived through the Halifax explosion, she saw cars become the norm, she witnessed the placing of a man on the moon, something people only used to joke about, large wooden-boxed telephones became cellphones you could hold in your hand, silent films became fast paced loud movies, the black and white television became color plasma TV’s people placed on their walls, and the invention of insulin ensured she saw her grandson live a full life. She had hoped a cure for juvenile diabetes was something she’d live to witness and I am fairly confident she’s using her energies in heaven to make that a reality.
I feel blessed that my four children knew their great grandmother. Not many children can lay claim to that. With all that my grandmother endured her core beliefs helped to shape future generations of Paces. My grandmother believed family came first, being a good neighbor was a way of life, helping people in need was part of life, volunteering made for a rewarding life and continually educating yourself kept your mind healthy.
I visited with my grandmother a week before her death. I am glad my youngest came along for the visit. Gram was working on her favorite thing – the lexicon. I will celebrate her life always. Missed but never forgotten.
And you might wonder how my children took the news. My youngest was the saddest, my 10 year-old sad but quiet as is his way, my 13 year-old seemed fine but a few days later his attitude showed he really needed some one on one time, and our 16 year-old got angry over stupid things and later admitted he felt sad about her death. I am sure the funeral will be a bit hard on them but as I tell them it’s all part of life.