Wednesday’s have always been important me. When I was younger, it was the night of the week that I got to watch “my” show (the original Beverly Hills, 90210). With only one tv in the house, 8pm on a Wednesday night was faithfully reserved for me. As I got older, the significance of this day changed.
After I moved out in 1999, I started heading to Grandma’s on Wednesday’s. While Grandma and I always had a good relationship, I’m sure the reason I initially started going once a week was for her authentic Italian cuisine. It wasn’t long after that the reason changed. I loved that she always welcomed me with open arms and a listening ear. She listened to me talk about my friends, the latest guy I went on a date with and how school was going. She asked questions, she took an interest in my life and I knew that there wasn’t anything that was off-limits to talk about.
A couple of years after I started my weekly lunch, Debrah got a job in downtown Hamilton. This made it a lot easier for her to join us. It became part of our routine to see Grandma at least once a week for lunch on Wednesday’s. It was our special time and something I know that we both looked forward to every week. Lunch could be something simple like soup (usually with bullet or star noodles) and salami or more elaborate like roast beef, mashed potatoes and green beans. No matter what it was, it was a chance for us to catch up and share what was going on in our lives.
I made it a point to reserve Wednesday’s at 1pm each week for what I coined “Grandma lunch.” While this wasn’t always the most popular decision at work (one time, I had my boss book a meeting with me during that time and when I told him that we would have to pick another time because of my lunch, he said “don’t you think this is a little more important?” to which I replied “definitely not!”), it was important for me to make time for what mattered in my life. SHE mattered – my Grandma mattered.
Fast forward to 2009, I left my job at the Hamilton Tiger-Cats for a position at The Credit Valley Hospital Foundation. It was a hard decision for me. As a Hamilton native, I love my community but I wanted to follow my passion. Grandma and Debrah were so accommodating and our Wednesday lunches became Wednesday dinners. Just before I started my new job, Debrah, Grandma and I started taking pictures just before we left to go back to work/home. We were silly and laughed all the time.
It’s been 3 years since Grandma left us to join Grandpa in heaven. Debrah and I still get together most Wednesdays for dinner and have continued our picture taking every week. Kendall is a part of these pictures and has been since she was born. With a new baby on the way, I can’t wait to share this tradition with him or her.
Every year I remember her the way she would want – with food! Family members who are able to gather at the Black Forest Inn, one of Grandma’s favourites. We talk about the memories that we’ve made (how she would say every year that she gave up sex for Lent despite never dating after my Grandpa passed) or how Grandpa proposed to her with a ring in a Cracker Jack box. We remember how she would always have pasta for dinner on the day she made sauce (which to all of us was like liquid gold) and how she would sit on the porch of her east Hamilton home in the heat of summer and say “did you feel that breeze?”.
I remember her every time I enter my kitchen that was made possible because of her generosity, every time I feel the St. Christopher medal on my neck and every time I see the palm over my front door. I know that she is looking out for me and I know that she knew how much I loved her. There are no regrets, just so many happy memories. Grandma showed me with her words and her actions what it means to love unconditionally. For that, I am forever grateful.
As I remember her on this Wednesday, I smile because I was blessed to have her in my life for 29 years.