Memorial Memories from Kelowna Entry #3 March 19th 2012

Memorial Day Three

Part One March 19th

Note to readers: I have been asked to remove personal details about the actual Memorial proceedings today. I do however reserve the right to reflect on my own life journey’s as not only a writer but as a human being. Out of respect for my family’s right to privacy, I have modified this entry and re posted.


Getting dressed in black for Grandma’s Memorial. Black blouse. Black slacks. I added my peyote braid necklace and hair clip to match with a touch of mauve and turquoise. I decided to pull my hair back away from my face. Not characteristic of me since  I’ve always been self-conscious of my forehead. My forehead is one of those features that let’s you know I got Black DNA. I use to get teased by little white girls in elementary school about it. And when I would reject a brother’s advances in HS they’d always dis my forehead. My Grandmother on the other hand always greeted me with affectionate kisses on the forehead. She said my forehead was beautiful because it was a part of me.

After a cold cereal and sum black tea. I headed out. When I arrived I was immediately greeted by my Auntie Brenda. I no longer felt like I shouldn’t have come. In fact at the very moment during that embrace I knew how much my Aunties needed me there.

It was a simple gathering for a simple woman.


I had an opportunity to make reflections about my Grandmother at the Memorial. I almost forgot my own name…lol. Started with “Good Morning”….my name, whose daughter I am and the names of my siblings. And then I went kinda blank. So I focused on my fondest memory; which of course was spending summers in Kelowna as a little kid from big urban city life in Tdot. Those summers introduced me to living off the land and exposed me to natural wildlife like deers; foxes; moose, and the beauty of mountains; pine ridges. I was sooo pumped to return to school in the fall so I could out shine my classmates during the annual “What I did on my summer vacay…sho & tell”….I’d have stories about the beach; picking strawberries in Grandma’s strawberry patch that use to go on for what felt like miles; making a scarecrow that looked like my grade 4 teacher Mr. “Nose Picker” Lockwood….cuz he scared everybody. Going to Okanagan Valley to pick fresh fruit and climb trees; horse back riding; hiking; bird watching; messin’ wit locus…fishing; and hunting (I had a water gun); but learned basic form; learning to knit and make home made ice cream….and standing beside a moose that compared to a 7 yearold looked like a UHaul Truck.

Grandpa and Auntie Brenda wud always make sure I had something amazing to show. Like a real Rabbit’s Foot or the carcass of a June Bug. One of the coolest things Grand dad taught me was how to whistle with grass. However it only seemed to work only with actual Kelowna grass…Tdot grass sucked or maybe there was too many pesticides….

Anyway I was able to find my groundation once I heard ppl chuckle at me mentioning how different Kelowna was compared to my urban jungle childhood. This gave me the courage to focus on my Grandmother’s hands. I told the attendees that I always remember my Grandma doing things with her hands…making things; cooking things; mending; working; playing; creating with her hands. I then tried to remember the section of my poem that my Grand dad liked best…I hadn’t looked at the poem since last Thurs nite so it took me a minute to retrieve the words. Little shaky but it eventual settled into a rhythm and flo and were spoken out loud. The truth is as I get older my hands are reminding me more and more of my Nana’s.

This is the part I shared:

“The touch of her hands
Enabled me to understand
The necessity of connectivity
No matter how long or short
Our distance may seem
Hands tell the story of the skin
Which maps the contours
Of your kin
The herstorical legacies
Molded and shaped
 by maternal Hands
So when I look at my own
Hands this appendage identity
Mirrors who I be
In relation
To my relationship
To my grandmothers hands”

Grandma would have appreciated the tribute it was simple; loving and warm.

On deck….the memorial reception

In Tribute to Grandma Sylvia



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