My Grandma had this one look... kind of a pursed lip, twinkly eye look. Like her lips were trying to portray disapproval but her eyes couldn't contain the mischievous soul that secretly found humour in the situation and was maybe poking it along a bit to see what might happen.
She was a bit of a troublemaker.
I was reminded by an email from my aunt (her daughter) that she died ten years ago today.
As my family replied to the email, reminiscing about which things remind them of Grandma, I thought about Molly. Sometimes when I look at her, she has that exact look... pursed lips and 100% mischief. And I mean, I look at her and I do a double-take. Sometimes, for just a fleeting moment, it's like my Grandma is a baby again and sitting on my lap.
While many members of my family remember my grandma for her interest in music, she was also a sewer, quilter, and crafter. Our house is peppered with her antiques (I am resting my elbows on one of her tables right now) and her collection of books on early Canadian fashions and her sewing supplies, which are all mixed in with my own. But I no longer see those objects as hers. Like all things eventually do, they have been absorbed and smoothed into our life.
Where I feel her is in Molly's mischievous face and in my own heart.
What I truly remember about my Grandma is that she was STRONG. She lost her parents, her husband, her son-in-law, her son (my dad), and her eyesight and she never let that shake her love of life.
She was fearless. I once saw her step in front of a speeding Jeep , shaking her walking cane, on the beach to tell off the driver for destroying the fragile eco systems in the tall beach grass.
She was both generous and thrifty. She paid a lot towards my schooling but would drive to four different grocery stores to get the best price on corn.
She was a trouble maker. She would declare "I win!" and scoop up all the cards on the table before anyone could accuse her of cheating. She would quietly have the most outrageous and scandalous responses during Balderdash games. Her laugh and her accusations that someone ate more than their fair share of cookies are sounds that echoed through my childhood.
She was opinionated and feisty and strong willed and gentle and all the other contradictions that I have learned make women great. It's hard to believe ten years have passed but I think that she is still here, a small part of her in each of her mischievious female descendants.