Monday, October 25, 2010

Day 24: "Let Me Tell You About My Grandchildren"

The first person we hired full-time at the TH was Terri-Lyn. And even before she finished her first shift, Brenda and I had pretty much adopted her.

So it follows that it was only logical for Terri-Lyn to call me up one day and say, "Guess what? You're going to be a grandma!"

Those were words I thought I would never get to hear, and it thrills me today in remembering them as much as it did hearing them that first time.

My beautiful "granddaughter" loves to dance and to create things. She has a mind of her own and loves my beautiful "grandson" . Any time I get to spend with them is a privilege, and on my way back from Edmonton on Friday I got to sneak in an hour as I was leaving that city to see them. 

James - and what better name is there for a boy than James?! - looks at me with his eyes and expression so much like his Dad's, who I have always believed has some of the kindest eyes I've ever encountered. Colin is a man of integrity and steadiness, and if James grows up to reflect his Dad's character the way he mirrors his looks, people who come into contact with him will be greatly blessed.

And how my heart swelled with pride to hear Mikayla talking in full sentences and calling me "Grandma Karyn" and giving me a picture of herself with the brim of her hat pulled down low over her face "so that you can't see my eyes!" Mikayla is the doppelganger of her mother in sweetness and mischievousness and social skills and in voice and in creativity and in determination and drive. The double gift to me in spending time with Mikayla is that now I can see how my Terri-Lyn quite likely was as a little girl. She is certainly a loving, patient, capable mother and does an exceptional job of maintaining balance in her life with husband, children, job, and time for friends and herself.

Terri-Lyn was a gift to me when I needed one like her the most. When we started the TH, frankly we had no idea what we had got ourselves into. But Terri-Lyn "happened" along, and she "happened" to have run a camp kitchen and she "happened" to love cooking and "happened" to be good at organization and she "happened" to be a person who could get along with almost anyone. She had a clear line of sight to what she believed God had for her future - Colin - and she didn't panic or rush to start things when all it seemed like the two of them shared was a tenuous friendship. "If God wants it to work, it'll work," she assured me when I started to be agitated on her behalf. 

Andy and Brenda and Terri-Lyn and I were the first little TH family. How I love that girl! And when I get notes addressed to "Grandma Karyn", I am so thankful and honoured that she continues to make room for me in her life, even to the next generation.


  1. The way I remember Terri-Lyn's first day is that it was a town-stopping blizzard: though we had been open for hours Terri-Lyn, bundled up like Nanook of the North, was the first person through the door that day. Once she unwrapped and removed layers of coats, we served her some tea, thanked her for coming, and sent her home. After that we sat by the fireplace and wondered if she'd ever come back. But my memory is known to be unreliable!

  2. Seriously? My memory is not what it should be either - I thought she started in the fall! Although, as we know, town-stopping blizzards can happen in any month in Alberta ...

  3. Even digging out Terri-Lyn's first time sheet won't make this clear (as you note "town-stopping blizzards can happen in any month in Alberta"). Maybe Terri-Lyn or Brenda can settle this?

  4. It was indeed a town-stopping blizzard in late April or early May. I think that I was maybe a little too excited to care about the blizzard. I will never forget my first visit to the Tea House, April 14, 2003, as a customer. Thank-you so much for so many beautiful memories, and lessons!


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