Saturday, March 24, 2007

E-Doris Gertrude Hamblin

My Mom's Mom, Grandma Hamblin passed away yesterday. Being 95 and living in Ontario meant that we didn't have a lot of contact with her, but she will be missed nonetheless. Grandma Hamblin was one of my only real contact's with the roots of our country. To me, she was the classic Canadian matriarch. Polite, trustworthy, respectful, and quiet. When she had a job to do, she would do it well and without a fuss. Whether it was raising her own family, running a well tended household, or entertaining a grandson visiting Toronto for a week, Doris was always polite and unassuming- a classic Canadian role model. Because of her reserved stoic, nature, it was difficult for me to really know what excited or displeased her. She was just too damn polite to say anything! The only exception I can think of was her passion for the Maple Leafs. She was no rabid fan painting her face Blue and White- she was much too subtle for that. However, I couldn't help but notice how she would time meals to end just before the game started. I have a pretty strong recollection of heading down to the basement and catching a few minutes of Jeopardy before getting to watch to Buds lose another game. Now that pastime takes some real stoicism!

With the passing of my self described "Classic Canadian Matriarchal Grandmother", it got me thinking about how much the country has changed in her life time, and under what different circumstances we are raising our children. Doris grew up on a farm in Ontario with 6 older and 2 younger siblings. She had none of the conveniences that we have today and yet lived a life rich in family, friends and nature. It sometimes seems to me that all of our so-called time saving devices and "improvements" of modern living actually move us further from these ideals. However, I also see how lucky I am to grow up in a time and place where every one's uniqueness is valued and cultivated, instead of stifled. I would have really liked to know more about Doris' passions, quirks and eccentricities that lay buried under the surface.

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