My Grandma was a special person. She had her own unique ways. Whilst she had times of great hardship and sadness, she also loved her family, enjoyed her garden and built a life with her family here in Australia after many years of difficulty in Russia, and during war times in Germany and through to their departure for Australia.
My mum shared with me this week some notes she made when my grandma had just passed away. I remember mum being particularly affected, having already lost her dad two years before.
Mum shared with me some of her most intimate memories of her mum, she talked about moments that she was proud of,like the adventures they went on as a family with Grandma as children. Times when she was embarrassed by her mum (as a teenager) along with some difficult things like helping deliver breathtakingly bad news when my cousin died in an awful accident rockclimbing, and some that were much more recent about the shift into being the adult child that needs to provide care for a parent.
It got me thinking about some of the things I remember?
I remember staying over at my Grandparent's place and having breakfast there. Grandma cooked a stack of pancakes that would have been thirty deep. I must have only been about 5-6 years old and stayed with my younger sister. We hardly made a dent in the pile and Grandma kept saying 'eat more!! eat more!!'
When I married my husband, I took my wedding dress over to show my grandma. Mum came with me. I tried it on for her. I thought it was a beautiful dress, she said 'No, not finished. . ' wandered off to her room and rifled through some of her things. She reappeared with a brooch my Uncle and Aunt had bought grandma years ago. It was very special to her. It was a Cameo brooch in a gold setting. She held it up to my dress and declared 'Beautiful!!' I wore it to my wedding proudly.
When I fell pregnant with my son, I was about 7 weeks along when I found out about our news. We were heading overseas at 9 weeks. Grandma had been moved into a nursing home as her illness progressed and was very very down and particularly uncomfortable. My mum and I went to see Grandma to share my news that next visit. It was a truly special experience. She was so very excited for us. She had a very excited and surprised look on her face, and said with a broad smile 'Mladanek' 'Mladanek' 'Mladanek'.
She passed away only a few days into my trip overseas. It was so special to be there with my mum to share that news. Grandma had a special place for her grandchildren and great grandchildren. She had 5 children, 13 grandchildren, and 5 great grandchildren when she passed away with another on the way.