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in Holidaze

First Christmas in Halifax

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Christmas was very different this year in many ways. We missed our families back home as well as our friends. The up side was that we had no running around to do and got to spend Christmas at home, just enjoying gifts and the day. We also had our very first turkey dinner that we did ourselves. On Christmas eve the kids had their bath and popped into their traditional Christmas eve pajamas (I have no pictures but they wore them most of Christmas day anyway so I have plenty…

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One year

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One year ago yesterday, two of my “aunts” (cousins, really) took my grandmother out. They left the nursing home and went out for lunch. Then they gave her an early Christmas present. My grandmother’s room in the home had a bed, a little table and chair, a dresser, and a television, but nowhere really comfortable for sitting up to watch television. They gave her a nice glider rocking chair. That evening my mother called her like she did every night, right before bed time, and my grandmother was ecstatic. She was very lucid, she spoke about her day out, and she was sitting in her new chair while watching the hockey game – she never missed a Canadiens game unless she had no choice.

She was so very happy.

One year ago today, the very next day after her wonderful day, my mother called to tell me that my grandmother had died of a sudden heart attack.

I miss her so much and something about having it happen right around Christmas makes it worse. I feel so grateful to have had her in my life for so long – she was 92 years old. She knew Hayley very well and thought there was no one quite like her in the world. Hayley couldn’t wrap her mouth around “great-grandmother” when she was learning to talk so she called my grandmother by her first name, Aggie. We still refer to her as Aggie here. She also got to meet Breanna a few times and loved her.

Hayley took the death so hard that I sat up one night, neglecting other duties to sew an “Aggie doll”. Hayley had asked for one and I could not think of any store that would sell something that would work so I made it myself, my first real sewing project. As time went on, the pain eased, but sometimes I still go in to turn off her reading light after she falls asleep to find that she’s holding the Aggie doll tight in her arms.

Hayley and her Aggie doll (by sherina)

Maybe I need an Aggie doll for myself.

092406-aggie (by sherina)

Sept. 2006 at her 92nd birthday party in the nursing home, the last time I saw her.

Care to peek at a few more pictures?

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Tangible memories

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On Friday, George and I took the girls over to his parents’ house in the afternoon and we drove up north to my grandmother’s place. My aunt and uncle had been there for a week, packing things up in her apartment because it was being rented out for the beginning of February. They had sorted through and either thrown out anything not worth keeping or donated a lot of things to the church. They also set out anything that we had all expressed an interest in having.

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A couple of weeks ago we hopped in the van and drove down to visit York Redoubt, a historical site that dates back to 1793; back in the day it was a major defense site that protected the entrance to the Halifax harbour. It was an absolutely beautiful day to be walking around looking at all the cannons and old buildings. The view from up there is pretty spectacular too, and you can see why they chose that location to keep watch over the waters. It’s a great place…

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In some ways I wish that I could see everyone I need to see on Christmas day. Growing up, my sister and I went up north to my grandmother’s house.Isn’t it an amazing house? Hard to believe it’s a grocery store parking lot now, but I’ll refrain from ranting since it doesn’t change anything.My dad’s mom would come over on the 24th, have dinner, then attend church. After that, she’d come back and spend the night. That house was more than…

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The other day the kids were both driving me crazy. They’re going through a phase where they can barely be in the same room together for longer than three minutes without some sort of epic fight breaking out. And I swear to you, they can – and will – fight over anything. ANYTHING. They’ll fight over who gets the one lone yellow bowl and who has to have a blue on (I’m about to throw the damn yellow bowl out). They’ll argue over who gets to lock the…

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