One Amazing Life

My great-grandmother Alma passed away this morning. She was my kids’ great-great-grandmother. For a few years, we were lucky enough to have five living generations of Lucases. Great Grandma was two months shy of her 107th birthday.

It’s hard to fathom the life she lived and the changes she witnessed. She was born in Shelburne in May 1904, a year before Alberta and Saskatchewan became Canadian provinces and four years before Henry Ford started mass-producing the Model T. She was an avid baseball fan–and she was alive for every World Series except the very first one, in 1903. She lived through two World Wars and an era when people of African descent were openly treated as second-class citizens.

This was taken in May 2009, at Great Grandma's 105th birthday. My grandmother is just outside the photo - five Lucas generations in one place.

But Great Grandma was amazing not just for her longevity, but her attitude. She was the most positive person I’ve ever met. She lived on her own into her 90s; like I mentioned, she loved baseball and followed the Blue Jays closely until she reached an age where she couldn’t stay awake for night games. More than once in the past seven years she’d have a health setback and we figured her time might be up, but she kept bouncing back.

I do wish I’d spent more time with her in the past few years, just to sit and listen to some of the stories she could tell. It got harder to  visit as our own family grew; I was always nervous of overwhelming her with the whirlwind that is our family. But she often asked about the kids, especially Maliah in the past few years. I don’t know how she kept us all straight, between children and grandchildren and great-grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren. But she truly was amazing.

Rest in peace, Great Grandma. I’m sure you’re having some great conversations with God right now — you certainly have a lot to talk about. I bet the first thing he said was, “Well, Billie, I’m glad you finally decided to join us.”

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4 responses to “One Amazing Life

  1. It’s always a sad day when you lose someone you love so much. I’m glad you’re remembering the wonderful ways she’s impacted your lives. That’s a legacy to hang onto. Blessings to you all during this time! Gin

  2. I am sorry she has finally passed away. She leaves behind a large number of people to miss her! You have been so blessed to have a great grand mother for 31 years, and to have such an example of positive thinking and living. I am sure she lived so long precisely because of her attitude.

  3. Wonderful tribute to a wonderful lady. I’ve heard so much about her over the years, and always remember everyone saying how positive she was. I need to remember to stay positive, and maybe I’ll have a wrinkle free face at 106 and great great grandchildren. Our thoughts and prayers are with all of you! xoxo

  4. Chad thank you for sharing One Amazing Life with us. It really is amazing as to what she has witnessed and saw over the years. And for her to have had her mind so clear that she remembered each one of us by name. Her smile would light up a room and she was always so happy to see you. She was one truly remarkable woman and loved by all. We will miss her dearly.

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