I spent most of my growing up years in Canada and she always lived in Arizona, so we didn't get the chance to be together often, but I always kept in contact with her over the phone. She was the person who drummed into my head what it took to be a lady, and I remember her teaching me how to make a bed with hospital corners so tight a quarter could bounce on the mattress. After my divorce, I remember her calling me and asking me if I was letting myself become frumpy. She was concerned that I would never find a husband if I let myself go. She was always so put together and beautiful.
She taught me how to age gracefully and never lose that youthful energy. Forty years ago, my grandad passed away, leaving her a widow. She claimed to be too old to re-marry, but she never acted old. I remember her coming to visit when she was about 78 and telling us about a whitewater rafting trip she was going on. And she could out-shop any of us, continuing on long after the rest of us complained about sore feet.
The last time I was in Arizona was eleven years ago, when my two oldest children and I stayed with her for a week. Those pictures from that visit are precious to me as not many children get the chance to hang out with their great-grandmother, let alone their great-great grandmother. Even more precious are the pictures I took two years later when she and my grandma flew to Canada to see us, and she got to hold her nine-month old name-sake.
Even though I hadn't seen her for nine years and our phone calls tapered off as her memory faded, she had a place in my heart and my thoughts daily. I miss her and am so grateful that I was blessed with such a wonderful lady to call Grandma. I look forward to the day when I can see her again.
Zona E. Waldie