It has been a year since my grandma passed away (just three short weeks following her son). You need to know a little bit about this amazing woman 🙂
Please note **especially if you are either family or a devote historian** the “facts” in this post are purely hearsay, and the memories are of a very unreliable eyewitness (me). Some of this article may be a bit less factual, but really…. does it matter?
My grandma was adopted in Lithuania when she was a baby. I have no clue who her birth parents were, but the mystery leads me to some fun imaginary ancestors. She was raised by two Lithuanian doctors alongside an adopted sister.
Then the war happened.
She lost her small family.
My Grandma somehow (with forged documents making her older on paper) managed to leave the country. I don’t know if she came straight here…. but eventually my super awesome grandma was in Canada! Yippppeeeee (although I’m certain Lithuania is beautiful, I’m sure you wouldn’t be reading this post without that continental shift of location ).
My grandma and grandfather met in Timmins (I think), where he was a minor (super rugged and cool). He was also from Lithuania (it is very apparent to me I don’t know his story at all… something that I would love to learn), but also managed to make his way to Canada. They were married within a month of meeting. When you know, you know. I heard they had to lie to the priest to get him to marry them, so they told him my grandma was expecting a baby– just so they could be married.
Fast forward (too fast, and not too forward), my grandma lost her husband to cancer and was left to raise her very young children on her own. So here she was with two sons and two daughters, working almost 24 hours a day to make ends meet. Most of my dad’s favorite childhood memories happened while he shadowed my grandma around to various places of employment.
I know my grandma’s life was hard, and I know she suffered through so much of it- to make ends meet, to raise a family, to fight through medical losses and scares. When I was very young my grandma helped my dad raise me. I don’t remember much of that time in my life… but I remember lots of food and time outside walking. Just simple, no frills, family time. Love and attention is all you really need as a young child.
Her favorite saying “What you can do? Nothing!”, which was (and still is) my reminder to accept the things I can not change. Life will throw you hard balls. Not everything will be easy and beautiful, but the trick is to understand the power of letting go and moving on. If your eyes aren’t cloaked in the sadness of the past they will be open to the beauty of the future.
My grandma had a difficult life, but I am so grateful that she was here. She has by now given everyone in Heaven a little hard candy… and is resting with her husband and son.
Rest in peace Grandma