Remembering Grandma Rigmor

Greg’s Grandma Rigmor passed away on March 15th.  She was nearly 83 years old and, in a nutshell, she wasn’t always the happiest of campers! She could spin negativity like spider silk and there were days where I had to practically bite my tongue off and keep myself from jumping up and shouting, “Do you think you could just find something nice to say about anything????”  However, like most elderly folks, she had some endearing quirks and she often had us laughing uproariously after she’d gone back home.  That’s not to say we were laughing at her, more that we were laughing at things she’d said.

Here are a few of the things that made us laugh about G-ma Rigmor.

Recently, her and Greg were having a conversation about street racing and how many people in the Vancouver area are hurt or killed by street racers every year.  Grandma said, “You know, I believe that Expo ’86 brought so many Asian people to Vancouver that it is the reason there are now so many street racers out there.”  Huh?  Expo 86 is responsible for the street racing problem in the Lower Mainland???? Alrighty then. Just yesterday, Greg reminded us of their conversation and we all laughed out loud and shook our heads.

A few years ago, before Greg started working as an electrician for the City, he worked in construction.  He had finished his current job of wiring the new water treatment plant and had been laid off for about three days when we went over to his parents for dinner.  His Grandma asked him if he’d found another job yet and, when he told her he hadn’t, she replied, “You can’t find a job because all of those Mexicans are taking all of the jobs from the Canadian people.”  We all laughed hysterically at her matter-of-fact statement, partially because we don’t exactly have an abundance of Mexican people in Kamloops who are stealing jobs from anyone, but mostly because she was a bit of a racist, old school Danish lady and just didn’t care that statements like that would most likely be taken the wrong way by a lot of folks.

Today would have been her 83rd birthday and to celebrate her life, Greg’s entire family (which consists of 18 people, including all spouses and one grandchild) went out to have her favorite dish from White Spot, Eggs Benedict.  Well, not everyone had Eggs Bene, but it wasn’t really important what we ate, it was more the idea behind the act – remembering Gma Rigmor. And we did remember her, each in our own way at different moments.   Here is a pic of Rigmor with Greg and I at our wedding in Cuba.


It’s nice to see her looking so happy.  And it’s nice to see my beautiful green dress again, too – I really miss wearing it!

The only good thing about people dying is that it always brings families together again.  Even though the occasion was sad, we really enjoyed hanging out with Greg’s extended family.  We don’t see them very often and it’s easy to see and feel how much all of the cousins enjoy each other’s company.  This weekend was the first time all of the cousins had been together in over 15 years.  It can be all too easy to get caught up in the chaos of our lives and forget about the fundamental facets, such as spending time with family.

Next month marks the 10th anniversary of my mom’s untimely demise and I admit that I haven’t seen many of my family members since her funeral.  This weekend has reminded me off how important my family is to me and how much more of an effort I need to make to keep in touch with all of them.  Thank goodness for Facebook!

One last little story about Rigmor before I get off my hiney and cook dinner for Greg’s brother and wife.  For Christmas last year, I took a bunch of pictures of the dogs that Rigmor had throughout her life and I made her a doggy collage for a Christmas present.  The last dog she had was a Shitzu named Trixie and she really missed her a lot.  We could only find one really good pic of Trixie, but she had those crazy devil eyes that animals get when a flash is used to take their picture, so I borrowed Juno’s eyes from one of our pictures and replaced the demon eyes with Juno’s.  She unwrapped the gift and absolutely loved it and she had no idea what I’d done.  Greg, however, had noticed right away and had a good laugh about the picture.  When they found Grandma, it looked as though she had sat on the edge of her bed, perhaps with the intention of taking a nap, and she’d passed away and fallen back onto the bed, very peacefully.  Greg, however, kept telling everyone that she sat down to admire her doggy picture and suddenly realized that Trixie’s eyes weren’t quite right and it caused her heart to stop.  I can’t tell you the rush of relief I felt when we went over to Rigmor’s apartment the other day and I realized that the doggy picture was hanging on the wall by the door and not anywhere near the bedroom.  My husband, the morbid comedian.

Happy Birthday Gma Rigmor and may you rest in peace!

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