My grandma celebrated her 91st birthday on September 14th. Ninety one years old, guys. Can you imagine living that long? My grandma, who we call Poh-poh, was born and raised here in Vancouver, BC – born in a house just a few blocks from where I live now. Poh-poh was the one who gave me my pink Kitchen Aid stand mixer for a wedding present. With that stand mixer I started my baking career, and with that stand mixer 6 years later I made her this frilly ruffly raspberry buttercream cake.
When you get to be in your 90s, you’ve seen so much of the world. Your dear friends, your family members, your husband or wife, people pass on and the world changes rapidly around you and you are still going. I think about my Poh-poh and how her bones, her heart, her kidney, lungs, everything is 91! Even though she looks frail and walks slow as molasses and can be scarily forgetful, to me she is still made of steel. When you get to 91 you’ve seen a lot of things in your life.
This is my dear Poh-poh and I, where I showed her the cake I made her. She still rocks her silk shirts and dress suits, still dyes her hair and gets perms. She’s known to be ornery, kind-hearted and with a wicked sense of humour. She embodies an era of ladylike behaviour and manners. She is our connection to the past. I think of her mind like a vault with all the stories and memories tucked away of our family’s history here in Vancouver, and of her own life and emotions and experience.
I joked with her that she only had nine more years to go before the big 100 – she scoffed at me and she said this would be her last birthday – which freaked me out a bit. Each birthday we celebrate with her, I know I must treasure the time I have left with my Poh-poh.
I know we can’t live forever.