As many of you know, I love clothes; some (re: everyone) may say it’s a bit of a problem at times, I love entertaining; tea sandwiches, sangria and a kick ass playlist is a must for every party, I love the arts and culture; museums, live theatre, you name it, I’m there, and of course, I can be a bit of an organizational freak and I take costume parties way too seriously. Some of these things were passions that I knowingly shared with my grandmother, some were things that I shared with her but didn’t know until recently.
I will start by saying that this isn’t a typical post for me, it’s a little more wordy, serious and a whole lot more personal than my usual posts. But, it’s something that is important to me and it was really therapeutic to write about it.
My grandmother had one killer sense of style; one that I have been jealous of to this day. She had the ability to put together the most chic outfits and make it look effortless. Fashion was one of the many topics we bonded over. She gave me her limited edition books written about our favourite designers that she had collected through the years, we loved to shop. When I think of Chanel, Michael Kors, Valentino, Calvin Klein, Jason Wu and many more designers, I think of her. She bought me my prom dress; days before she insisted on taking me to the hottest stores on Queen West where we located a one-of-a-kind designer black, tulle princess dress with detailed embroidery and beading.
She loved to entertain. My grandmother had a way of making every holiday, event or party purely magical – she could seriously give Martha Stewart a run for her money. She made sure everyone was involved in some way, as kids she and my grandfather had us go and collect autumn leaves for the centre of the table for thanksgiving. In the summer, there were always ice cream sandwiches in the freezer and crafts for us in the cupboards. Not only did she host parties, but she also was heavily involved in many charities and organized several large fundraisers. It’s no mystery that I love to entertain too – I host several annual parties for my group of friends, Holidays, games nights, movie nights, summer garden parties, the list goes on.
We also shared a passion for home decor, art, history and museums. My grandmother always had the best decorated house on the block. Whenever I decided to re-decorate my room she got so excited and would bring me little things that she thought would go well with the new look. We often would spend hours upon hours at museums and art galleries and would end up feeling so inspired by everything we saw.
These are the things that I could talk about with her for endless hours; this is what we had in common. But what I didn’t know until recently, we had a lot more in common than I realized. Sadly, this amazing woman whom I was fortunate enough to call my grandmother passed away last month.
After talking about her to a few different people, and looking through old albums and things with my sister we quickly learned that we each had a lot more in common with our grandparents than we ever realized. I was telling a story to a friend and former manager about how organized all of her stuff was and how she had files and checklists for everything, to which she looked at my mom and said “Gee, who does that remind me of.” It’s true, I’m a bit of an organizational freak. My agenda is colour coded. I knew she loved parties, and I remembered her dressing up as the mad hatter for one once, but I didn’t really know how much she loved costume parties and dressing up until I started to uncover photo after photo of her and my grandfather. Two of my favourite photos that I found of them, they are wearing bunny ears for Easter and at a 20s themed party (above). It’s no secret that I do the same, and have some sort of headband or hat for every holiday.
Needless to say, she was quite a character, much like I am. I could go on for hours and hours sharing stories, memories and new discoveries about her – she was all these things and much more. (Did I mention she loved social media?!) It’s safe to say she loved life and it loved her right back. We were so lucky to be able to call her our grandmother, and it’s true what they say; the bond between a grandmother and granddaughter is like no other.
Rest in peace, Gramsey.