Canada Day 2012 marks one month since she was taken from us.
Your Grandma was a happy soul who gave everything she had (and more) to promote the health and happiness of her immediate family and close friends. She was the type of person that would have dropped everything to respond to your every beck and call. And, she never expected anything in return. She was a petite Chinese lady, but she left some big shoes for your Papa to fill (and I have absolute confidence that he will do just that).
Grandma's big shoes (at Bubba Gump Shrimp, Monterey)
Cyber visits from Grandma were a regular occurrence. She often reminded me just how grateful she was to have Skype and FaceTime and to be able to watch her grandchildren grow despite the 3500 km gap between us. Your first 2 years have been so full of changes (as it’s been documented in this blog). Grandma watched you go through them all. She would always be so sad if she missed a FaceTime call because she was outside of her wi-five zone (no matter how many times we told her it was WiFi, she insisted on calling it wi-five).
In the 20 months that you knew her, you had 6 good face-to-face visits. I wish there could have been more.
1. First meeting, December 2010
When the two of you were born, taking care of you was a lot of work. So, we welcomed as much help as we could get. In the first 3 months we had help from your Auntie Kristy and both of your grandmothers. Grandma McCourt was able to stay the whole month of December. She loved holding you... the hard part was getting her to put you down.
As previously told about on this blog, you went on your first trip in March 2011 to San Francisco and Monterey, California. Grandma came along to provide nanny and babysitting services.
Just before leaving San Francisco
You and Grandma, chillin' with a penguin in Monterey
Shortly after coming back from California, we were off to Sechelt, Maui, and Regina. Good thing you guys didn't mind air travel!
Hanging out with Grandma and Papa at their house
Family photo at Grandma and Papa's house
Beach babies in Maui
Grandma, Papa, Auntie Kristy, and Amber all came out from BC for your first birthday party.
Grandma and her 3 granddaughters
Out at the park up the street
5. Your Great Grandmother’s Funeral, 20 April 2012 – 27 April 2012
The past 12 months have been pretty horrible. First, losing our pug, then your Great Grandmother, then your Grandma. In April we went to BC for a celebration of life in memory of your Great Grandma. Despite being in Sechelt because of her passing, we had a great time with your grandparents.
A quick picture with Grandma before running off to play in the puddle
Our last family photo with Grandma
6. The final visit, 15 May 2012 – 1 June 2012
We had just got settled back in Ottawa when Grandma got news that she was very ill, so the two of you, Gladys (our nanny), and I all jumped back on a plane for BC. Fortunately, we were able to spend just over two weeks with her before she passed away.
Most days you would go and enjoy the large yard at your grandparent's place with Gladys, which allowed me to spend some quality time sitting and chatting with Grandma. At the time, she wasn't very mobile, so she had a walker to assist her, and the two of you loved that thing. Whenever you saw it, you'd say "broom broom", jump on it, and wait for someone to give you a ride.
After bath time every night, you'd just barely get your diaper on before running down the hallway towards Grandma's room. Then you'd try and climb up on her bed and chairs while I tried to get you changed, read you stories, and try and calm you down before bed. The video below shows you running around Grandma's bed just before bed time.
When I finally was able to calm you down, we'd do our round of hugs and kisses and then off to bed. By the end of your last two weeks with Grandma, you were just starting to say "Gamma" (and you already had "Papa" perfected).
Your grandmother was an amazing woman. Ask me about her from time to time. I have many great memories to share.
She was taken before her time by a vile disease, but her soul will live on in our fondest memories.