Because today, March 8, is a birthday I want to remember. It is my grandmother's birthday and she has been in heaven more than 30 years.
I was noticing that today is International Women's Day and it seems fitting that I would think of her today, and all she meant to me in my life. She truly was an example, a mentor, and her name fit her well. Anne means "full of grace, mercy, and prayer", and this was very true of her.
She was not well known. Her family loved her. She had lived with much adversity, sorrow and pain, but rose above circumstances to be one of the most loving and caring people I have ever known.
This picture is taken on her second wedding day, a lovely photograph. My father was seven at the time I believe.
Grandma had lived through the pain of illegitimacy (very difficult in her day), and a challenging childhood as a result. She immigrated to Canada when she was seventeen, leaving her first love behind.
She married my grandfather, Jacob Friesen and they had two children and she was expecting a third, when he died of tuberculosis. Sadly, baby Helen born months later, died of SIDS at three months.
So much sorrow for a young woman.
She remarried a few years later to Henry Suderman, and she had six more children.
Her loving clan, my uncles and aunts are a living legacy of her love and life. And she touched many people through her loving gifts of service and prayer.
In her fifties she became a paraplegic... my age... and it was a very difficult time. I remember spending much time talking to her, and she was so very interested in my life, and I know she prayed... much... for her family.
So today I want to remember her. She loved to serve cookies for breakfast and wieners for lunch. Funny memories. I think of her often.
Happy Birthday, Grandma Annie. Thank you for how you influenced my life. And I believe you cheer down from heaven, with all our other loved ones, cheering us on to do our best, to live a life of love and caring.