Sunday, August 14, 2016

The Grandchildren


One of my favorite memories was one of the times when I was going to University.  Every Christmas I would come up to Grammy and Grampys and I would put up their Christmas tree. 

Both Grammy and Grampy made a big event over it.  It would be an all day affair.  They would sit in each of their perspective chairs, and Grammy would make pop corn.

*This audio includes Michael and Tracey*

Their artificial tree was one of the first that they ever had.  I would put all the branches in.  Every ornament I took out of the box they would tell me a story about each one. 

The funniest would be putting the Christmas lights on the tree. Because most of them would be melting onto the plastic.  I would say that pretty much half the lights were melted. 

But we would always have a good chuckle.  It was probably one of the most special times.  I would spend the night.  Grammy would tell me some pretty good war time stories.  

It was a very special time for me.

It reminds me of how important traditions are.  I am trying to create that now that I have 2 little girls of my own.  I am trying to create traditions that we have each year.  So for us it is putting up the Christmas tree together.  

That is what we do even the first year when my child was just a baby.  We would sit around and put the ornaments up.  Most of it would be for me.  But it is a special time.


I am the eldest grandchild of Herbert and Mary Marshall.

I remember when Grammy used to give me back rubs.  She would use rubbing alcohol and tell me stories about the war. 

I remember her telling me that she went out partying one time while she was in France.  I guess it was near the front and she was out drinking with some of the other nurses.  They were being driven back by some of the soldiers there and because it was wartime, they weren’t allowed to drive with full headlights. 

They couldn’t see the road so well and so they went off the road and that is how she got a head injury.  I remember her telling me that story.

The back rubs she used to give to her patients in the hospital during the war.  I used to like them and my mom used to give them to me.

I used to always sleep in the room upstairs in the house in Toronto.  It was always in the room on the right.  It had a big tall bed and it wasn’t very comfortable.  And the room even had one of those pots that people used to pee in.  

I think my grandparents and your parents had a real sense of honor, and commitment to family and values.  These are the kinds of things that guide you, and give you direction in your own life and give you a moral grounding. 

I think that is very important for my mother.  Because that is obviously where she got her values.  And that is where I got mine.

The tradition I carry on I like to call the intensity of grounding that my grandparents had.

Coming here was something we had to do.  We had to come.  Family is important.  It is important to honor them.

We always did something with them every year.   There was some trip that was always the Bryants.  Either going on the house boat on Lake of the Woods, or going to Mexico

One of the last bits of advice that Grampy gave me in 2008 after the global recession.  He told me not to quit my job.

Unfortunately my grandparents couldn’t come up North for my wedding.  Which was in 2010.  Instead they watched it on skype.

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