Tuesday, November 2, 2010

40 Days of Thankfulness: Day Nineteen

Today I'm thankful for my maternal grandmother.

I was thinking of her last night when we were watching an old episode of This Old House and they were remarking about how Boston used to be a lot of swamp land. I told DH that The Fens, (Fenway Park is on the outskirts), used to be a wetland for a long time and is now a beautiful park.

When I was growing up, my Nana used to live right on the outskirts of The Fens and in the summers I used to go there to play on the swings and run through the gardens.
So, I started thinking about my grandmother again and how brave she was. In the early part of the century she had been living in Scotland with her husband and they had a young son - my father. His husband was in the Black Watch during World War I, and he died in Peshawar, India.

For whatever reason, she and her sister (who she never spoke to!) decided to come to America, to Boston to live. So, when my dad was only 5 they sailed to the US. I have pictures of him coming off the boat wearing a little kilt.

Somewhere along the line Nana married again, to a hard-working man who helped provide for their little family.

Until my grandmother died, she was a waitress at a YMCA. But she managed to save a pile of money - under her mattress, in the closet, behind the sofa. It was amazing. Her American Dream, I guess.

I cannot imagine having her courage, leaving the US with a small child, and starting life anew in a completely new country.

I wish I had been able to tell Nana while she was still alive how much I admired her. I am thankful that she came here - or I wouldn't have been born.