What did you bring when you first came to Canada? A friend asked me. A question I did not expect but one I had an immediate answer for.
My Grandmother’s blue blouse!
My story, like so many of others that have made Canada their home is quite common. Looking towards new horizons you can’t dismiss your past too quickly, and in my case, it was kept alive by a garment that helped me to maintain my past very present. You may have heard of the secure feeling children and babies have when cuddling their favourite blanket, well, that same feeling I felt when holding my grandmother’s old favourite blouse.
What am about to tell is very personal but it needs to be said in order to understand the immense significance that this blouse held for me.
My story began when I was 3 years old, perhaps a bit sooner. Of our parents marriage their were two siblings, my sister and I. Unfortunately, that union didn’t last long and it is then that our Grandmother took on the role of mother and father. We thought it would be short lived but our parents never reconciled. Grandmother was that rock where we leaned looking for comfort during those difficult times.
During my formative years she was Judge, Jury, and executioner and truth be known she did it very well. Some days she took the role of executioner very much at heart, exercising her brand of justice 2 or 3 times, with or without reason, but mostly with reason!
I had the great fortune of having her by my side for 16 years until the heavens took her. For reasons I couldn’t explain a blue blouse she wore frequently stayed with me and it has always signified her guidance, her presence and her love which I needed when I first came to this country where I found costumes to be different, even the language, during the time it took me to adapt. Her blouse was my support during days of solitude and brought me hope. To this day it stays with me, always present but fulfilling a different purpose.