Monday, 27 February 2012

Josephine Lorraine McKenzie

We said goodbye to my grandmother this past week. She passed peacefully in the night- she was 93 years old. Her funeral was simple and small- we are a quaint family to begin with, and she outlived most of her friends and relatives. I never knew my grandfather, her husband, she was a widow my entire life. But a woman with more gumption I have not met; she was a rock, and I was lucky to be her granddaughter.

I have one deep regret about my grandmother; that I didn't have the sense, when I was younger and her mind was clearer, to ask her more about her life. She was born less than a year following World War I, and lived to see nine decades of wonders, discoveries, wars, triumphs, atrocities and struggles. It boggles my mind to think of the things she saw in her lifetime. She saw the institution of apartheid in South Africa, and the election of a black American president. She saw women gain the right to vote, and a female become prime minister of Canada. I can't even fathom the advances in technology, science and medicine that she witnessed. She lived through the Great Depression and passed down the deep value of frugality to my father, and to me. I hate to think of all the stories she could have told me, all the things she saw, that I never asked her about.

I remember returning home from a family trip to Disney World and asking her to sign my Disney autograph book. She flipped it open to the back page and wrote "By hook or by crook, I'll be the last in this book". I thought that was so clever.

I'm pretty worn out, but I'll start writing again this week. I watched two documentaries today while I endured a date with a ton of dirty dishes- Food Inc. and The Corporation. There's a lot of blog fodder right there.

Wishing you a peaceful start to your week. Talk to your grandmothers.

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