Raspberries and Roses

Lots of things take me back to growing up on the farm.

Fresh raspberries from the grocery store. One berry and I am 8-years-old and back in my grandmother’s garden picking fresh raspberries off the stocks.

When my grandmother was still relatively healthy, she had a beautiful garden. She had flowers everywhere, her vegetables in tidy rows. I’d come home from school in the spring or go for a bike ride during the summer and I could see her, bobbing between the rows, diligently weeding the dirt, the greenery almost tall enough to hide her from view.

It was hard “helping” her in the garden because as soon as everything was ripe, we’d eat more than we’d pick. Everything tastes better fresh.

The roses are something different but still remind me of my grandmother. I don’t know if red was her favourite colour. In all honesty I never asked her but I’ll always remember this red sweater she had. And this red blazer she would wear to almost every wedding and fancy-do. To this day, when I see red roses, I’m reminded of my grandmother; deep, rich and vibrant.

She was a quiet woman, but never a hold-things-in kind of woman. If she had something on her mind, she’d say it, she’d discuss it with you. She was the person I turned to a lot of the time. When parental knowledge wasn’t enough to calm the nerves, off to Grandma’s place I’d go.

When I was 12 and freaked out about Y2K (give me a break, I was 12), Grandma held me and told me it would be okay. When 12 year old logic didn’t see a solution to the problem, Grandma’s wisdom always did.

She loved ALL of us unconditionally, even considering she had 30 odd grandchildren from two marriages and 12 children.

Love was something she never could exhaust.

I’m disappointed that I became a journalist after she was gone. Along with my grandpa and my dad, her life was one of struggle and perseverance. But I’ll always remember her when I see roses and raspberries.

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