Posted by: flamingodebra | February 10, 2012


Grandmas are special people.  I used to spend my summers in Fort McMurray with my Grandma Alma.  She had a flower shop (up to 3 at one time) there and I was in heaven when I went to visit.  I learned a lot from my Grandma, how to make fancy bows for the flower arrangements, how to prepare the flowers when they arrived on the plane from the wholesalers and how to take care of the plants, she let me take orders, answer the phone and send orders on the Telex machine,,,,, I was 10 or 11 years old.  She always let me bake whatever I wanted, cookies and cakes.  We tried to make bread a couple of times but we ended up eating the bread dough before it even got baked.  The summer I was 12, we took the train from Calgary to Toronto to visit my Auntie Cheryl, Uncle Vern and my cousins Joy and Halie.  They had a pool and we spent a wonderful few weeks there that included actual baked bread and fresh strawberry jam. 

When I learned to drive, my friend Tracey and I took the bus up to Fort McMurray and Grandma made sure I could drive back to Calgary…. I needed to gain some highway driving experience.  Elmer (her husband) was not happy that I was driving his car but he was so good to her that he conceded his spot behind the wheel and indulged me.

Grandma would take me to the Floral Wholesaler’s in Calgary on buying trips.  I would get my basket and I could shop to my heart’s content.  A warehouse full of crafting supplies was pretty awesome and that was the beginning of lots of great ideas and ambitions for me. 

When I started figure skating, so did Grandma.  She was in her late 50’s at the time and ended up falling and breaking her collarbone.  When I thought I’d start writing (romance novels) she started writing short stories and sent stuff to magazines and got a story published in the Reader’s Digest about moving to Fort McMurray in the 1960’s.  When I started quilting, she started quilting.  She was my greatest cheerleader.  “You must be able to quilt with your eyes closed” she always said.

In 1978 (I believe) she graduated with a high school diploma.  She was the oldest daughter of a farm family and had to quit school in grade 8 to help out at home.  She finished school by correspondance, taking her courses in German until she felt her English was good enough to do a good job.  This prompted me to continue my University courses by correspondance – and she took some University courses too…..

My Grandma would have turned 93 on February 15th, but she passed away in her sleep last night.  Peacefully I hope.  I spoke to her about a week ago, she always said she had no aches or pains but didn’t know of any news to tell me.  She read a lot of books and crocheted lots of afgans in the last few years.  I’m going to miss her a lot.  We have always been close.  

Here is a picture she sent me… the back says “Alma Gibson, 2006   87 years old” .  She always looked nice and was so pleasant to be with.  My cousin Halie and I bedazzled her jacket for her on a trip to Oshawa in 2006 to visit when Grandma’s second Great Grandaughter Leea was born to my cousin Joy.  All in all, Grandma had 3 children, my dad was the eldest, 7 Grandchildren and 6 great grandaughters – two of which are getting married this year and 2 great grandsons…..and we all have wonderful memories.



  1. I’m so sorry for your loss. You’ve written a wonderful memorial, and I’m sure she will always be with you …every time you see your flowers and quilts that you shared love of. We should all be so lucky as to have such a wonderful person in our lives as your “Gramma”

  2. Thank you Gwen

  3. Sorry to hear about your Grandma’s passing. I enjoyed reading about your memories. She sounds like she was a wonderful Grandma!

  4. A Beautiful tribute Deb. You were so very close to Grama.
    It was not easy to let my little children go away up NORTH but am glad I did. You and Todd got to know your Grandpa and Grama and you both were very close to them.
    I will also miss my friend of almost 50 years, we shared a lot over the years.
    She was always “Mum” even tho she was my ex Mother-in-Law.

  5. Thank you Gloria… she was wonderful….

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