My Grandma Delia always seemed so fascinating to me. She had sparkling brown eyes and a charming laugh. She lived in a huge old house in Chatham, Ontario, and always dressed in pretty skirts and wore jewellery, no matter the occasion. She had a tragic romantic past: her first love was killed in World War II and my grandpa was killed in a car accident when I was only three. Still, she was always the belle of the ball at fundraisers, parties and even just her weekly bridge games.
My grandmother was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s when I was in high school. It wasn’t noticeable at first, but eventually her memory lapses became more frequent until she was overlooking household chores and keeping food in her home well past its expiration date. It was a sad day for the whole family when she had to give up her grand old house to be moved into a seniors’ residence.
But that couldn’t dim my grandma’s movie-star-like presence. She had not one, but two suitors in her retirement home! One night their rivalry erupted into an argument that had to be broken up by the staff! Only my grandma could inspire such a faceoff, even at 80 years old. She passed away two years ago and despite everything that happened, I’ll always carry a picture of her in my mind as a beautiful, glamorous lady.