On November 13, 2017 my grandmother Doris passed away in her home of natural causes. She was 88 years old and left behind 12 children with large families. We will all miss her dearly.
Here is my personal tribute to my nan, which I read aloud at her funeral.
Most people get nervous when they have to speak in front of a crowd, but in this case, the crowd is almost all family. Whether you’re one of 12 children or their spouses, to grandchildren, to friends and neighbours and so on.
Nan had a small, quiet life, but enormous in impact. There are grandchildren and great grandchildren, stretched all over Canada that I’ve never even met, people who wouldn’t be here had it not been for her and pop. People who are making a difference in others lives, whether it’s as a doctor or a librarian, as a security guard or a hospital worker, there are all sorts. The butterfly effect of classic love.
I know each of you have memories of nan that you’ll hold on to as days go by. There are distinct things that always come to mind when I think of her. It’s the sound of a teacup as it scrapes across the brim of a saucer. The flick of a towel fresh off the line being folded. The vision of her sitting in her armchair looking out the window toward Frankie’s Cove.
It was the times we would laugh about technology and how magical and strange it was to see and hear yourself on tv. It was the way to make doughboys for pea soup and knowing when to add the vegetables to the pot on a Sunday morning. It’s the sound of the fisheries broadcast and the talks of who has their clothes out on the clothes lines at what time of day. It was the phone ringing from a son or daughter every other day, the tightly knit mittens and embroidered cloths. It was the tiniest things that a lot of people overlook, that is what made up Doris Poole.
There’s a lot of magic in everyday life, and nan embodied that. Nan made me appreciate that. And I want to take this moment to tell you that this is how it should be. Sometimes life can get very complicated and we forget that the small simple moments like sharing a cup of tea with a friend can be the best medicine you could ask for. To honour my nan and all that she was, I ask that you remember this when you leave here.
You don’t need to be the smartest person in the room. You don’t need a giant bank account or the nicest clothes and accessories. All you need is someone who loves you, even if that someone is yourself. Remember all the tiny moments with people you care about, because they end up being the best moments of your life.
Writer and photographer from remote Labrador, Canada. Just another cold Labradorian chillin' in the Big Land. Can most likely be found walking my dog Grace or behind an iMac screen slowly taking over the interwebs.