Bright Yellow flowers of the late ’70s reminded me of family meals at 16.
As a child, I gave my grandmother the nickname Grimmins. Grace Mitchell my grandmother was my mentor until she passed at 66.
She was spiritual, intuitive and intelligent whom I admired for her determination, giving and sharing of life. Even when she had little in a monetary way to give, she still shared whatever she had with all peoples that came her way.
When Grace separated from her husband with three children, she ran a boarding home in Ontario for many years. The unusual, the gifted, the unknown who later became famous as ‘Tommy Hunter’, the physically different, and ordinary people became boarders in the large home. Grace was accepting and attracted honest, decent people, as well as some society, was less than accepting.
Grace moved to British Columbia with her children to raise them in Vancouver for the last half of their childhood.
I remember as a child her home in Surrey of Vancouver’s Lower Mainland; the wood-burning stove that heated the house on freezing mornings, the chickens in their coop and collecting their eggs, the neighbour’s dog kennel
neighbourhood children running around and her teaching me to drive a standard car on Maple Ridge’s back streets.
What I cherish the most was her bedtime stories. I slept on the floor beside her bed and before falling to sleep was told her stories, her journey, her life. The stories were full of interesting people she had met. It was through these stories I discovered we shared the same gifts as an intuitive, capability to listen to people hearing what is not said knowing beyond perception in understanding without assumptions or preconceived notions.
My Grandmother, a great mentor, taught acceptance, understanding. She lives still in my heart.
The photo above: The main photograph of Grace was taken by myself with I was 16 in our kitchen when we lived in Coquitlam. The wallpaper is a decorative choice of the ’80s. I have pieced together the wallpaper to fill in the smaller photograph that was taken by a little disposable camera. The filling I understand looks strange. Strangely I recall the taking of these photos as though yesterday, with my mother sitting at the kitchen table.
The other photo of Grace in her stylish tracksuit is with my younger sister Vicky. They were dancing around the living room. Notice our colour tv?