Thursday, March 5, 2009

Of Grandparents...

This is my Mother's Mother. I was tossing up between a few photos for which to introduce Grandma Taylor with. This picture of her is cute because she looks like she's dancing, which she probably was. Grandma has never acted her age, and I mean that in a good way. She's a lot of fun and she always has been. It is this Grandmother who taught me many important things in life: How to hoola dance, how to tie a scarf in many different ways, how to last hoola hooping for as long as I want (obviously good with all things hoola), how to do foolproof cardtricks, and most importantly, something I can't seem to master but which Grandma does brilliantly, how to play the 'trumpet' with a comb and a piece of gladwrap. In fact, I think I have a video of that... okay I went to put the video up but then I got scared of all the terms and conditions and the whole putting a video of my Grandma on the internet for everyone to see and I thought I'd better get permission first! On the upside, I get to see this Grandmother very soon, but I'll tell you more about that in a minute. Another thing I like about this picture of Grandma is that it shows her cooking a fabulous 'goodbye' breakfast for me and James from when we got to visit her in Adelaide last year. She has a heart of gold, and loves to serve in any way she can. Grandma's not very well, so it takes a lot of effort to cook a feast for people who eat as much as us, but it appears that she'd rather die trying than not make the effort :) Here's a picture where you can see the fruit platter, but it misses out the bacon, eggs and chipolatas which accompanied, and I kid you not, James was full before all the food was even gone! A third reason that I like the above photo is that Grandma's wearing her 'World's Best Grandma' apron. Doesn't it look lovely on her? :)

Grandma Taylor is our only surviving Grandparent (on my side - James still has Great-Grandparents in New Zealand! :)). Dad's Dad passed away when I was 9 years old, in February, and then just last year his beautiful wife passed away after having lost most of her memory over the last few years. Grandad Munro (from what I can remember) was a quiet man. I remember when I was staying there once in their home, Grandma walking into the room and noticing in some degree of horror that he was attempting to tie my very long and unruly hair into a ponytail with an actual rubber band. He seemed a bit bothered by the whole business. He called Grandma 'Mum', and had a 'secret' jar of jellybeans in the workshop under the house, which he used to give us 'when Grandma wasn't looking' (it's only occured to us in recent years that perhaps Grandma did know about this jar.....). Grandma was very proper. She always spoke nicely and wore stockings and pretty dresses. Grandma was also very funny, and it was all the funnier because you didn't expect it from her, so it took everyone a while to catch onto her jokes. Grandma and Grandad Munro ate pizza with a knife and fork. You could tell Grandma missed Grandad a lot, so being able to be with him again is wonderful, we are very happy for them both. A few years ago Grandma typed up her life history for each of her children, and it is a beautiful story of simple faith. We are so blessed to have such a wonderful heritage.

Grandma Taylor remarried and so we were blessed with 2 Grandfathers on Mum's side. Grandad Taylor was Grandma Taylors second husband, and he was a jolly man. We'd dance on his toes and he'd always sing. He had a song for everything you said. You could say "Gee, Grandad, the other day a trolley slammed into me as I was walking down the road and a kangaroo jumped out and started boxing me!" and he'd break into a song written 56 years ago in which just that seemed to have happened. It was amazing, and kind of fun. He loved to hear us sing and play our instruments, and he always used to tell us we'd make it big with them if we just believed in ourselves.

Poppa was Mum's Father, and Grandma's first husband. They obviously didn't work out and Grandma was remarried when mum was pre-teen, but near the end of his life when Mum and I were able to visit Adelaide to see him twice when he finally had to go into care, Grandma came along with us to visit him a time or two, and they enjoyed each other's company. Grandma made him a cute card with chocolate bars stuck to it, and Poppa kept asking if 'Pat' was coming in to see him. He was a nice man and I wish I knew him for longer. He loved having us to visit, even if he pretended to be grumpy, and would flirt with all the nurses when he was in care. He was hilarious, and I'm so grateful that I was able to get to know him even for a short few years. I can't wait to see him again sometime, and I hope he's accepted the gospel by the time we all get there!

Anyway, what brought along this trip down grandparent lane is the fact that Mum and Dad flew yesterday down to Adelaide, to pick up Grandma and drive her up here for a good, 2-month long visit. We are all very excited to have her come, and can't wait to see her. Grandma is too sick to fly (she was sicker than any of my grandparents from the day she was born, but has outlived all, and will probably outlive all of us at this rate), so it's hard for her to visit. They will arrive up here this Wednesday, so they're not taking the drive too quickly, and will get to see part of the Great Ocean Road on the way up.

I'm sure you'll hear more about my wonderful, hoola dancing, 'trumpet' playing, and I like to think slightly eccentric Grandmother during her visit. I think we'll have a ball.

Thankyou for joining me in a lovely chat about my wonderful grandparents. Writing and remembering these things (along with a few stops along the way to reminisce by looking at photos and videos) has made be remember how blessed I am to have such a wonderful family, not just now, but in the past. I can't wait to meet more of my ancestors (one of the few good things about dying), even though I've always been a bit scared that not all of the ones who have died already will completely like me, from what I know about them from their photos (no Jonny and James, I do not have a complex).



Billy and Button said...

What a gorgeous lovely woman your Grandmother Taylor must be! Can't wait to meet her when she comes to visit.

I can't believe I missed your last post! I regularly check my dashboard to see updates, but I must have missed it. I have to say what a wonderful and beautiful woman you are. You are such a great teacher, so lovely, patient and FUN! Every child's dream! I know that Zak LOVES you, and feels very comforatble with you, which is saying alot as he is not like that with everyone. If you were my children's teacher I would be estatic, knowing what great hands they were in! Hang in there sweety, I know things will settle down soon.
Love & hugs, Kaili xx

Jonny and Jessima said...

This is a lovely tribute to your grandparents. I can tell you love them very much. They and all your ancestors will love you when they meet you :) Who couldn't?

Make sure you take lots of pics of Grandma Taylor when she is here. Pictures tell 1000 words. You will cherish these times in years to come.

You are wonderful, beautiful, talented and devine!!!!

Tammy Lorna said...

Hey Ab - you already have 2 other comments! yay for your other friends :)

And I really liked this post too. We really do have some great grandparents, don't we?! I'm excited to see Grandma Taylor down in Melbourne tomorrow!

xo Tammy

PS. Hope Jenna didn't make you sick!

Kaili said...

Me again Abby!! I'm passing onto you a BLOGGING Award! You can see the details on my blog. You don't have to post it if you don't want to, its really just to let you know I love your blog! Kaili

Sandy M. said...

As if your ancestors won't like you! :)

I'm really glad that you have good feelings toward your grandparents. I'm sure it is important to Heavenly Father that we honour,(everyone, but..) especially our older family members. I'm not sure why I feel so strongly about it, but I do! Perhaps it's because people often become more dependant, need more help, and sometimes, more loving kindness and patient acceptance as they age - as we age. We become in some ways like children, and then babies again: dependant on the kindness of others. And since they have cared for us in times past, it is special and fitting that we repay some of the love and service with which they have blessed our lives.

Plus, grandparents generally love you a lot, which is always nice :)

I love you a lot too! :)