The Gift of Waking Up in the Morning

2013-06-16 15.11.40Last Thursday was Papa’s funeral. It was held in Windsor, which meant that Jazzy and I could be a part of the family gathering – which coincided with Thanksgiving. Mom, Grama and Dave flew in, and we joined Papa’s family around the table for a grim reunion.

Papa was 97 years old. Though he started in Saskatchewan, he moved to Ontario as a young man, and made a life for himself there. He has been laid to rest in the same place where his first wife Kay was buried in 1975. He was surrounded by his family.

Grama and Papa were married eleven years ago. They both knew their time together would be limited, and they saw each day they woke up together as a gift. If only we all could share that perspective.

My most vivid moment of the funeral was at the cemetery, where Grama stood apart from the rest of the family, next to Papa’s coffin. She wept uncontrollably with Jazzy at her side, their arms wrapped around each other. I was so proud of my daughter for being such a loving and supportive granddaughter.

Grama came home with Jazzy and I afterwards. She flies home tomorrow, and it’s likely she’ll never be back to Toronto again. We’ve been making the most of our time together. On Saturday we all went to the Argos’ game together at Rogers Centre. Not only did Grama enjoy the game, but she was also excited about the train ride to and from the stadium as well.

I am pleased to say that for a woman of 89 years, she’s really quite spry. We’ve walked a ton all over the city. We took the subway downtown on Sunday, so Jazzy could show Grama the church she attends. Afterwards Grama bought us our Christmas presents at Eaton’s Centre. That night they came to the Toronto Cold Reads with me, to watch the reading of my script.

Grama and I have walked around my neighbourhood. We’ve had many conversations over coffee. She’s read two of my scripts. Last night Aubree stopped by and we all played Canasta – Grama and I, verses Jazzy and Aubree. Tonight I have people coming over for a backyard campfire.

It’s been years since I’ve spent this much time with her. Jazzy and I are both blessed. Each day has indeed been a gift.

4 thoughts on “The Gift of Waking Up in the Morning

  1. I am so glad that you got to spend this time with your grandma. You and jazz do spend time with her when you come out here. But this time is different, it’s more special. It’s just the 3 of you and no other distractions. Thanks for showing her a great time.

  2. I remember you on the phone last month with your grandma while you were out at a pub. It struck me then how touching your communication was. You shouted in your loud Jarrett voice, “Tell papa I love him.” It caught me off guard hearing your personal conversation shared on the patio with whomever was in an earshot. Yet something about it was so deliberate and charming I remember being really touched overhearing your announcement. I hope it’s ok to leave this here since reading about your (step) grandfather inspired me to share the warm memory. My condolences to your family.

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