Grandma, Grammy, Nana, Oma, Nanny... the list can go on with all the names our beloved Grandparent wishes to be called.
For me, she was Grandma.
Today, I foolishly found myself out of sorts and second guessing my life, "she was my Grandma, right?"
Did she need to be of my blood?
Did she need to have been there from the beginning?
No. None of this makes someone your Grandma, it has to be so much deeper than that.
I believe that when there is a gap in our hearts, very special women are sent to us to cross into our path, for the pure purpose of being our 'Grandma'. Much like mine.
Not many can say "I hand picked my mother-in-law!", like my Mum can.
My Mum set Grandpa up on a date with our neighbour, a dear friend, and from that first date on their beautiful history was made. It was a love that was pure; both of them given a second chance to find their forever partner. Their lives and families became one, flowing with the ups and downs of life, building their love stronger each and every day.
Not once was there hesitation, insecurity, or questioning on the absolute devotion we were all given by her. I remind myself tonight that she was my Grandma, and forever will be; from a little baby girl to a new Mum, that hand picked Angel helped make me who I am today.
She taught me respect, kindness, and how to be brave.
She taught me strength, forgiveness and perseverance in the darkest of times.
Love and joy radiated in every moment spent together and apart, from across the road to across the province.
I may not be of her blood.
She may not have been there from the beginning.
However, I do not know a beginning before her, and in my heart, she will always be 'blood of my blood'.
She embodied the true meaning of the name, Grandma.
I love you, I miss you, forever you'll be.
This is dedicated to every woman whom has had the honor of being called (any version of) "Grandma".
And to mine, a long time member of the Elliot Lake community and Anglican Church. Loved by so many,
Irene Marie Long.
March 1st, 1941 to August 18th, 2019.
Beloved wife of the late Ernest James Long. Loving mother of Janice Shantry and her husband Phil, and of the late David Barber. Loving Step-Mother and cherished friend to Terry (Lisa) Long and Brad (Rhona) Long. Cherished Grandmother of Ryan, Gary, Jamie, Brandon, David, and of Scott, Jennifer, Christopher, Corey and Emily.