Apparently today is the tenth anniversary of the death of one of Gill’s grandmothers and she has a few words to say about it.
Grandmas are the best, and I’m extremely lucky to still have one.
I would like to take a moment out of the business of life to talk to you about someone important to me. As you can tell, I wrote her name on the top of this essay. She was my paternal grandmother, and on this date ten years ago her life race ended.
Who Was She?
Mildred Myrtle Ward-Ardiel was born at home in a blink and you’ll miss it farming community on June 22 1919. She was one of nine children, and her early years were spent in a hard scrabble farm life. When she was approximately ten-years-old one of her youngest sisters died of encephalitis. Due to the family’s poverty and the Great Depression she pretty much left school after eighth grade. She married my grandfather Keith Ardiel in July 1940 and settled in to a rural life. She had my uncle Harold in 1942, followed in short succession by my dad in 1943. In 1951 she welcomed my aunt Sandra into the family and the family was complete. Sadly in 1967 my grandfather had a massive stroke and passed on. She did find love once again with Ray Martin 1916-2000.
What Was she like?
She was loads of fun. I will always remember going to this neighborhood park near her home and tossing stones in a river. She was a fabulous cook! I’m not saying that because she was gran, but the homemade biscuits, turkey dinners, and ice cream sundaes made holidays and visits all the more special. She was stubborn. She didn’t want to go into a nursing home, even though she couldn’t remember to take her pills. She was cute. Standing at roughly five feet tall she held court for all of us six grandchildren, and would frequently surprise us with the things she would say, E.G. about seven months before her death my mom and I were visiting her at the home, and a soap opera happened to be on, she looked at the screen and with a perfectly straight face remarked, “they love to show their asses on that show.”
Sometimes around this time of year I get kind of sad, but I will always remember trips to the park, mini-golfing, and those irresistible pancakes.