My grandma was born Patricia Joyce Goldstone on March 24 ,
1928. By no means is she famous, and most people will never meet
her. But she is a hero to me and I will tell you why.
She was born poor, and lived with eleven siblings on 149-9th
Street. Because they had no money to spare, grandma and my great
aunts and uncles had to walk nearly everywhere, and on occasion
would hitch a ride home with a family friend.
Until she got married , my grandma lived in the same house
all of her youth. When she was twenty-five, she wed Mervin Cruse.
Together they moved to Minto and built a home with the little
money they had. She there gave birth to my mom, Laurie, and helped
out on the small farm that they could afford. When my mom was
the age of three, her parents moved back to Brandon and settled
on 26th Street. Later on that year, my grandma gave birth to
twins: my Uncle Stuart and Auntie Erin.
My grandfather, Merv, worked long hours at a menswear shop,
as my grandma was working too at various shops (never more than
one job at a time) to try to keep a good income.
My mom and her siblings grew up well-fed, clothed and happy,
but less-than-perfect circumstances came between grandma and
her husband, and they came to live separately. Grandma moved
herself and her nearly-grown children to 623 - 12th Street, where
she still lives presently. By then she was a lot more comfortable,
By the time that my mom got married in 1978 (to my dad, Tom
Burns), her father had sadly passed on due to heart problems.
Then, my grandma really was on her own. Not to worry, as she
had a steady job, and no young children to look after.
When the last of her children left home, grandma pretty much
had it all, and as she was soon nearing retirement age, she found
herself picking up hobbies and more time on her hands.
Then I was born. Oh, this wasn't bad or anything. It's just the
time on her hands became baby Susan on her hands. Both of my
parents worked full time and didn't want to send me to a daycare,
so grandma came and looked after me every day until I was ready
to go to school. When summer break came around each year, I was
too young to watch myself, so grandma had some company for two
months. Even now, I will still rise early to spend time on 12th
Street in July
My grandma, in the past decade, has discovered another roadblock:
a disorder called Trigeminal Neuralgia . This effects the nerve
endings in her face, and as she describes it, "It feels
like a thousand knives in my face." It comes in "spells",
as my family calls it. It will be fine for months, and suddenly
start up for a few weeks. When she has a spell, it's touch and
go: one minute she'll be fine, the next, she'll have to stop
what she's doing. The wind hurts her face, as does bending over,
wearing glasses and things like that. But grandma is determined
not to let things pass her by, and she keeps on, even though
her face hurts. It pains me to see her go through this, and I
can't possibly imagine how it hurts her.
So you see, my grandma did not save anyone's life, but she
is my hero and role model too, because she always has made the
best of a poor situation and will do anything to live life to