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.
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.”