For Donna

by Brenna Holeman
Koh Lanta
Koh Lanta, Thailand

Kathmandu is exactly 11,375 kilometres from Winnipeg. It’s far, no doubt. But there are some days, some situations, that make me feel as if I were even farther than that, farther than comprehension can allow.

There are many, many, countless, innumerable benefits to travelling; I could barely count the things I don’t like about travelling on one hand. However, one of those things is inevitably that, if something happens at home, you are all alone on the other side of the world, you are without friends or family or any kind of support system unless you have happened to meet a sympathetic traveller.

This post is dedicated to my grandmother, a vivacious and hilarious woman who lived 90 wonderful years on this earth. She peacefully passed away on Wednesday, although I only found out last night because my family wanted to wait until they could tell me on the phone.

I could lock myself in my room, I could cry a thousand tears, I could shut myself off from this strange and unfamiliar place, but I know that my grandma wouldn’t want that. She would want me to be smiling, she would want me to keep exploring, she would want me to celebrate her life and reflect on all of our great times together: picking rhubarb in the backyard, collecting rocks on the shores of Lake Winnipeg, playing endless games of double solitaire and gin rummy, running around the house playing tag, telling stories of times long past, laughing over another one of her dirty jokes. She had been trapped in a body and mind that were no longer hers for a few years now, and I know that she is now happy and healthy once again.

I am flying over Everest tomorrow, and, because my family is scattered around the world and we cannot have a formal ceremony at the moment (we will meet this summer to have a party in her honour), I am going to spend that flight thinking of her, remembering her, sharing that incredibly special moment with her.

I love you, Grandma.

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Jacqueline Anderson March 26, 2011 - 4:04 pm

Brenna, I just lost my grandmother who lives in Ireland not two weeks at age 90 as well. You sound as close as I was to my Nana, so I know how hard it is. But what you are doing is for sure making her proud 🙂

Enjoy everything that is coming your way! xx

Oneika March 26, 2011 - 4:24 pm

Sorry to hear about your loss, Brenna! But know that you living life to the fullest and enjoying yourself is making your Grandma so happy!

This Battered Suitcase March 26, 2011 - 5:29 pm

Oh, I’m sorry, Jackie; it is tough to lose someone so cherished. Thank you both so much for your kind words, it really means a lot to me…

Naomi March 27, 2011 - 3:13 am

I’m so sorry for your loss, Brenna 🙁

Ali Banali March 27, 2011 - 10:39 pm

My darling Blenna-chan, my nan passed away on 17th… seems to be the month for our cherished g’ma’s to say goodbye to life with us on earth and move to a more peaceful place… HUGE HUGS from many many miles away my sweet. Love you XXX

Frances March 28, 2011 - 3:51 am

So sorry to hear of your loss…

This Battered Suitcase March 30, 2011 - 1:14 pm

Thank you so much, Naomi and Frances.

Ali – I’m so sorry to hear about your nan, but your words are very true…I like to think that they are in a very happy and peaceful place! Hope we can skype soon my love. xxxx


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