Put this on my headstone…

images (23) I  am five years past the age my nana died.  I was not yet twenty and living away from home.. she was my anchor and her death hit me like a rock! Dreams of her being ‘missing’ but alive somewhere.. make me so happy.

Those few people that impact your life growing up are so special and when they die, it is like, hey.. we are not finished yet,  I still need you!

She was my cheerleader, she was my confidant’, she was there when I needed her. When I quit school and got a job, she let me live with her and gramps.

I paid rent too, I forget how much, maybe two dollars a week . I was making twenty-five working the lunch counter at the CN train station, in the middle of downtown Saskatoon.

I slept on the couch and her youngest, my uncle Gary, was still at home and going to university. Wow I just now figured out that she was raising a second set of two kids. He is only 7  yrs. older than me and my other aunt is 12 yrs older than me. My mom was married, with six kids , I was the oldest!images (22)

She also had two foster kids raised from scratch! One of them left when she died and the other one is part of our family. Well they were both a part of our family but the younger one was devastated and not the same after she passed and he left to explore life on his own.

images (21)None of us were the same after her death. She was our Christmas and our easter bunny and she made our lives magical. She was the tooth fairy and when we couldn’t sleep she told us stories about the sandman, and fairyland. She sang rousing English songs (Campton races comes to mind) while baking yet another raisin pie. I have come to realize, that dreams of her bring me comfort.

It wasn’t always like that, for so many years I would be bitterly disappointed upon awakening and realizing it was just a dream. Having surpassed the age at which she died, I marvel at her legacy. She had a hand in raising all of us and made sure we never went with-out. I wonder how she felt having such responsibilities.

writeyour own storyEach of her four children had seven kids.. except for my uncle having four, and how was it that she only had four I wonder? They were all married and producing like rabbits, babies every year.  Two foster kids and lots of babysitting. She always had children in her house.

Did I mention the neighbor kids were always at her house too? There is also the fact that we all lived under the same roof (it was a nice roof btw) at one time or another. Maybe that is why I was so close to her.

Nana was my protector and advocate in all those tumultuous years. I was living with parents that fought all the time,imagesMOVLCNQZ produced a child a year, and eventually split up when I was twelve years old. (hmmm there was only six of us ..a couple miscarriages and a still born .. ah well math is not my forte’)

My niece wrote on Facebook about losing a fiancée and how it changed her. She then lost her stepdad and her mom (my younger sister). I think death does change us. Losing someone you love so much, and if it is unexpected, that is even worse.. because you don’t have a chance to say goodbye.

We are faced with our own mortality, our guilty selfishness, unspoken words of thanks and I love you. Do they even know how grateful we were for having them in our lives?

Nanas death changed me, more so than my moms passing, I got to spend more time with my mom. Losing my younger siblings has effected me as well, one brother and two sisters . Sometimes I think about one or the other everyday.

 Have  you ever felt someone’s presence close by? I sometimes feel my mom with me, I can hear her say my name clear as a bell, this wasn’t always so. I was mad at my mom for a long time, even after she died. They say time heals all and I believe that is true. I finally made my  peace with her and I know she forgives me.

imagesMELGW232I don’t cringe anymore when people say I am are just like my mother or “you sounded just like your mom right now”. I accept it and say ‘thank you! My nana is with me too.

My deceased siblings affect me in a different way, how can they be gone and I am still here? I am the oldest after-all. Their passing makes me aware everyday of my own mortality.

The deaths of my younger brother and my sisters makes me pour more into my own life. Sometimes I live larger than life, I’m too loud or maybe I talk or laugh too much , although how can you laugh too much ..na…

Living to the hilt, pushing boundaries, taking chances. I started listening to my heart and being selfish! I want those around me to hear me, feel me, like me or love me. You can even hate me if you will, but  please don’t ignore me.

Making every day count is important, and when I die I won’t be sorry and don’t you be sorry for me either!  I am telling you now (because I can’t when I’m dead)  I  LIVED !! imagesL1VYGD17 (2)

Ps  please write that on my headstone