My Family Day message

I wonder if some kids who had a day off last Monday, were given an assignment by their teachers. Something to the effect of “Please write a short essay on what Family Day means to you”. I used to like these kinds of assignments and because I’m no longer in school, I have to assign them to myself. So, true to form, it’s a few days late, so I’m going to lose marks for that, but here goes.

Renelle Rico

(insert your name here, you’ve been given the teacher role)

English 2001

February 20, 2015


What Family Day Means To Me


I believe that Family Day is a wonderful idea. Our government, in its endless effort to control our lives make our lives more pleasant, has decreed that, in Ontario, the third Monday of each February should be set aside for spending quality time with one’s family.

Well, it is a wonderful idea and I only wish I had been able to spend it with more family. Sorry Virtignia, of course you’re family, but you know what I mean. Try to amuse yourself while I continue on with my essay.

The very first Family Day was observed in the province of Alberta in 1990. It proved to be such a popular idea that Saskatchewan quickly followed suit and had their own first Family Day in 2007. That really got the ball rolling.


On Family Day, many people plan activities that can include the entire family, such as visiting relatives, going to a museum or a movie, or maybe just spending time together, enjoying each other’s company over a board game. Because February is usually so cold, the activities might include cups of hot chocolate, freshly baked cookies… 

This reminds me of my sister. You may remember Jo-Anne from a previous post.  How I would love to be sitting in her kitchen right now, watching her put together dinner in her own inimitable way. “I hope you like homemade deep-dish pepperoni and cheese pizza with a side of spinach salad.”  Well, of course that sounds delicious. It will turn out that she doesn’t have enough flour on hand to make the dough, but that she does have a few nice tortillas left from the other day’s fajitas, so no problem. “Oh shoot, does anyone feel like running out to the grocery store to pick up the pepperoni? Never mind, I’ll defrost this chicken and we’ll be good to go. Oops, it’s turkey – same thing right?” And that’s when I might casually ask her if she’s remembered to pick up mozzarella cheese and she would look at me like I’ve got two heads and exclaim that of course she’s got mozza cheese, what else would she use to make deep-dish pepperoni and cheese pizza. What am I, some kind of philistine? I probably don’t have to tell you that she likely wouldn’t have any spinach but does have a gorgeous head of romaine lettuce. Jo, the queen of substitution is herself, a one-of-a-kind; nothing and no one could ever take her place.

God decided that my sisters and I should have only one brother and in his infinite wisdom and kindness, he gave us the best one. A terrible stroke tried to take Jack from us, but he must have known that he was still needed here. I can’t imagine having to face my cancer without being able to call him and hear him tell me that he loves me and that nothing will do but that I get better. He’s promised to be with me through this terrible journey and I in turn try to help and support him through his own ordeal of rehabilitation and acceptance of his greatly changed circumstances. We depend on each other. Sometime soon, I need to write a post specifically about him and I know that you will see why I love him so much and why he’s such an important part of my life. In the meanwhile, every time I see or talk to him, I notice that he is continuing his incredible comeback to us with each day. My funny, feisty, busy, irreverent, gadget-loving brother is almost good as new – maybe even better!

Families, being living things, evolve and grow. Our beautiful daughters find soul mates and suddenly we have two sons to love. I’m sure you’ll agree with me that additions to the family are the absolute best. You’re probably hoping thinking that all this rambling will lead somewhere. Well, scroll down…



PicMonkey Collage

Yes, that is correct, in mere months there will be a new wonderful little person in the world who will be calling me Grand-maman. I feel fairly certain that he or she will master this somewhat difficult French word before he/she even says Mama or Papa or anything else. Why am I so sure of this? Because I’m going to be there. All. The. Freaking. Time. That’s why! I’ll be indulged in this because of my status as cancer grandma. My daughter and her partner will slowly come to loathe me as I show up for the morning’s first feeding and stay through the day until baby goes to bed for the night.

imgurcomThey will start pretending not to be home, but I’ll know better. I’ll go to the parking garage and their car will be there. Even if they turn off all the lights, I will wait by the door until I hear the baby cry and then I will pound on it like only a chemo-crazed grandmother can do. “What are you doing to MY baby?”

Aw come on Julie…Jeff, I’m just kidding. Stop that packing immediately. I promise to be a good granny. I’ll come only when invited (snicker). I’ll be helpful without being overbearing, curious without being nosy and loving without smothering. I can smother a little right?

In conclusion, it is my opinion that Family Day underlines and honours the meaning of family and family life. It has been my experience that the glue that holds most families together is the grandmother. In light of her significance to the family, she should be included in all family events so that everyone can benefit from her wisdom and loving ministrations.


That sounds like the kind of grandmother I want to be. I know you are going to be very concerned about baby’s teeth when they emerge and I promise not to bring any candy that you will ever know about. You will want him/her to learn responsibility and earning one’s own way, so I’ll make sure tmemberstripodcomhat you don’t know where we hide the money that I will secretly be giving him/her. Seeing as how Jeff is a great coach and sportsman himself, I promise that I will wear good disguises when I show up at games and scream at any other child who dares to get into my grand baby’s way. I’ll be good…

I promise…


12 thoughts on “My Family Day message

  1. at the precise moment I am thing of a friend who has very suddenly passed away and feeling a bit blue and sad “Bing” my phone goes off signaling new email, and suddenly I’m chuckling and smiling as I read how perfectly you will be master being “grand maman”. Thank you for this wonderful story. Love D

    • I may need someone to show me the ropes my dear friend. I’m happy to hear that I was able to turn your blue mood around. You’ve done the same for me many times.

  2. So, I’m your teacher, eh? Just like I would do when my students handed in late lab reports, I say, yes, it’s late, but well worth waiting for, Renelle. I love how you’ve entwined the idea of family with your personal insights into your sister, your brother, your daughters, your anticipated grandchild, and your role of Grand Maman” which you will carry off with aplomb, humour, and love. Thanks for this.

    • I’m happy the teacher in you approves of my report and even happier that my friend has such confidence in my unproven Grand-maman abilities.

    • Thanks very much Kathy and thank you also for sharing it. I take some of my attitude cues from you who have helped me through some of my darker moments.

  3. I’ve known for a while about Julie and Jeff but still want to say CONGRATULATIONS, I’m green with envy and that you’ll make the world’s best grand-maman – until I become one of course. Looking forward to the blog about Jack. Lastly, I’m proud to say that Lianne is her mother’s daughter as her motto in the kitchen is: “a recipe is merely a guideline”. Loved your take on Family Day Renelle. Funny that not all provinces celebrate it on the same day??

    • Yes, it is funny that you out on the Wet Coast celebrate a week earlier. You just can’t wait for a day off I guess. No need to be green with envy; just come visit! As you can tell from my post and from the zillion times I tell you, I miss you and can’t wait to see you. Love you ma belle grande soeur.

    • Thank you Lawrence! From what I can recall, you really don’t need to take inspiration from anyone. So nice to hear from you!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s