My Granma and me circa 1989.

Her Gift

A tribute to my Granma, Arlene Robison

My Granma always talked about and wrote about writing a book one day. Although she never did get a chance to put her writings together, she did write a book.

Many books actually.

There’s one written in my heart and in every person she met and loved. It’s the book of devotion.

And it’s etched in every one of us.

The way she raised you — mom, uncle glen and aunty Judy. Behind the infamous hair brush stood a woman of small stature but big devotion to give her children the best life possible.

The way she cared for Granpa and let him plant his gardens and climb up and down the hill in Ottawa even though she knew the day would come where she’d have to figure out how to pull him up after he’d fallen! Behind her signature pursed lips stood a woman with a big heart and undying devotion for her one true love.

The way she cherished each one of her grandchildren despite us growing up or being states away. Behind the woman who taught us how to play hide the button or where find magic rocks or whose stew had the best dumplings stood a woman whose heart burst with joy with every hug from Eric, Emma and me and who devoted many shopping trips to finding the most unique and thoughtful gifts.

The way she spoiled the great grandchildren she didn’t think she’d ever live to meet. Behind GG’s wrinkly hands stood a woman filled with delight as she watched her first daughter experience the joy of being a grandmother.

The way she welcomed everyone she met with open arms and open ears. Behind the woman who loved to tell the stories of her life stood a woman who enjoyed hearing the stories of others even more. She devoted much of her life to listening to those stories — as a librarian, a caring neighbor and selfless friend to so many.

While today we say “so long” to our devoted mother, grandmother, great-grandmother and friend, we also are part of one of the greatest books ever written. The Robison book of devotion — it began when two people fell in love over White Castles. And it continues every day in all that we do for those we love.

Thank you, Granma, for giving us the greatest gift of all — the gift of a life devoted to all of us — the ones who have been lucky enough to know and love you.

I sure wish I could have seen your second first dance with Granpa and your long overdue belly laugh with Auntie. So long, Granma. I’ll always be your Pootsie Doo.