My Grandmother/Nostalgia at Christmas Time

Holiday Season for me means intense feelings of nostalgia and homesickness.  I moved to Toronto from London when I was 10 years old with my mum and left behind my grandparents, cousins, uncles and aunts.  Back then we used to have huge Christmas celebrations at my grandparents old house on 23 Grove Road in Acton — there were certain inevitable truths that happened each year at 23 Grove Road around Christmas time.  Each year my grandmother would cook a crazy Christmas breakfast and dinner.  Each year the grandkids would rush to open our gifts…and wish later on in the day that we had waited.  Each year my uncles and grandfather would get into some kind of a political debate.  Each year the adults would drink rum and brandy and the kids would drink Baby Cham (feeling very cool).  And each year my grandmother would get more gifts than anyone else and she would wait until the last moment of the night to open each one up – carefully and slowly so as not to ruin the wrapping paper which she would save for the following year (my first lessons in recycling).

Below is a reflection piece i wrote about my grandmother on the day that my friend lost her grandma.


Thoughts of My Granny on the Day of Kim’s Grandmother’s Passing

My grandmother is beautiful.  She has always moved with a careful grace.

Her hands this delicate balance of strength, hardness and tenderness.  Her hands are like her love.  Unrelenting, persistent and full.  I am never in doubt of it.

My grandmother is beautiful.  She has always moved with a careful grace.

She never rushes.  Everything is done with thought out consideration.  You can see it in the shaky lines of her handwriting as the shape of each letter is considered as ink meets paper.  It can be observed in the carefully ironed and immaculately organized bed linen found in her drawers.  All decisions are made with thought and care.

My grandmother is beautiful.  She has always moved with a careful grace.

She carries the weight of pain as a deep basin that defines the lining for a well she chooses to fill with love. Hurt and pain are not denied nor released.  However they are not given centre stage.  Guised as anxiety and worry, they sometimes fight their way through and take over.  This is a battle she has not mastered.

My grandmother is beautiful.  She has always moved with a careful grace.

Nestled in her arms, between her and my grandfather, listening to the harmonious interplay of their light snores, the 5 year old me felt invincible.  Nothing could harm me while curled between their bodies.

My grandmother.


Earlier this year, my grandmother had to have a very risky surgery and was not doing so well.  I was missing my family so much that I made the hasty decision to drop everything for two weeks and take a spontaneous trip out there and surprise my grandparents, uncles and aunts.  I have included a little movie that i made of my trip that is super amateur but captures the emotions pretty well.  I miss my family every single day.

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