At 99 she could still move like hell on wheels and her mind was as sharp as anyone’s I’ve ever witnessed.

But she just knew. The other side was calling and she was excited to embrace it – I don’t say excited lightly here.

My grandma Mary’s stories carried over 1.5 centuries of life – 1920-2020. You could almost hear, smell, feel and taste her tunes and the transitions she witnessed.

She was born in Shanghai to a peaceful Quaker and resourceful adventurer whom raised her worldwide.

She fell in love with the tall man in the summertime cabin fields before they met. He was a fighter jet pilot with so much playful charm but he lost pieces of himself in the war torn skies which carried weight on them.

Together, until grandpa Charly’s early passing they raised 5 children – 4 boys and one at last little lady in the U.S.A. by school year and British Columbia by summer {because the wild – the natural world has always ranked as non-negotiable in our cellular line}.

From the time I was inches long to 5 foot nothing, she came to every field, court and stage I ever played on and she spoiled me rotten with love and gear well before I ever felt an ounce of financial privlidge in my blood. I used to place her gifts on the foot of my bed and kiss them goodnight – because she inspired great care.

She shared spoon etiquette and made sure that I “stay wild”. She told me time and time again that sex is important and to enjoy it – and that ”if your guy ever stops reading then it’s best to move on”.

One of my biggest take away’s from her was that you can be a lady and drop unmistakably raunchy jokes at the same time.

The last time she was at our slice of heaven outside of Invermere, her 95 year young bod came storming down in the nude saying “if you don’t want to see an old beauty skinny dipping then you better move on”. The only warning was her bareness. My friends fleed and I stayed put as she bathed in the glassiness of the minnowed lake and tilted her head back to wash her silver lined hair.

This image is painted in my memory sharp with colour.

There are so many things I loved and will continue to love and cherish about this woman. I can not believe I got to have her as my grandma. And now a mentor that just grew wings.

Grandma I have no doubt that you were able to choose your time because you were happy with the way you loved, contented by the forgiveness you gave yourself and moved by the sight you gained this time around.

As I was saying goodbye and tucking my gma into bed for my first and last time I made sure to pour all of the love that she gave for me to grow back into her, so that I too could feel just as good as she did with the passing of chapters.


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