Some Big Shoes to Fill

It is a longstanding tradition in my family that, on Mother’s Day, all the women get together and treat themselves. Many, many years ago, the whole family would get together for a picnic or a lunch spread organized by, of course, the women. Then, one year, someone clued into the fact that it was the women who were busting their butts to organize this celebration of, ahem, them, and isn’t that kind of backwards? So, ever since, the men have been left behind to look after things at home while the women and girls have gone out for a decadent brunch, followed by a fun ramble or a game of golf.

But last weekend we mixed things up a little. We brought our own nosh – still women only – and met at my grandma’s house to celebrate, laugh, love and reminisce.

I mentioned before that my grandma passed away last winter. This was our first Mother’s Day without the matriarch of our family, and so it seemed appropriate to meet at her place for one last hurrah.

After a bit of catching up over a delicious spread of treats and, (of course) the requisite gossip, we went into my grandma’s bedroom to try on clothes. This was a ritual my grandma always loved. It was not uncommon for her to lure a daughter or granddaughter or even great-granddaughter into her room after a visit to check out a new purchase or unload a few items that would look just right on them. She would have loved to see us bonding while checking out her stylish collection of shoes, dresses, suits, scarves and belts.

I came home with (among other things) this beautiful pair of red, leather Vianni Collection shoes. They’re almost brand new, and not very “grandma-ish.” Then again, most of her wardrobe wasn’t. Back in high school, when I’d show up to school wearing something she’d passed along, I’d tend to get the most compliments – as well as surprised looks, when I’d reveal my source.

I know that when I wear these shoes I’ll remember that afternoon, crowded into my grandma’s room with my mum, my sister, niece, girl cousins and aunts, laughing and sharing, being a mother and being a woman. And despite the fact that the shoes are just the tiniest bit tight (they’ll only just fit with a pair of nylons), I’ll be reminded that my grandma left me – and the rest of her female offspring – some pretty big shoes to fill.

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Giveaway Winner Announced!

The winner of our Kelowna Art Gallery GO Party giveaway is Laurene Blake! Congratulations! We’ll be in touch shortly to arrange getting your two tickets to you. For everyone else, keep watching for more giveaways down the road.

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– Words and photos by Lori-Anne Poirier

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3 Comments

  1. I’m a sucker for these types of family stories! Sounds like a wonderful afternoon Lori-Anne.

  2. Daphne Sayler Hust

    Wonderful story and fabulous shoes.

  3. Happy Mother’s Day Lori – I just want to say what a wonderful person your grandmother was intelligent and smart and knew exactly where she stood. I was honoured to have her in my class she would always keep the conversation alive and vibrant.

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