Tuesday, November 08, 2005

My Menopause Blog: Keeping Regular

My 96 year old Granny died due to the complications of a fall. Not her fall. Someone, a much larger woman, fell on Granny in the nursing home they both lived in. Granny's injuries were more than she could recover from. She died a few days later.

I was 15 when Granny passed away. Although we never formally talked about 'womanly things', her influence on such matters made an impact. Born in 1877, an orphan in Britain, her and her younger sister Annie married brothers and immigrated to Canada with their young children. My mother being one of them. Both sisters set up house in Toronto, on the same street.

By the time I was born, Granny was already over 80 and widowed. To my delight, she came to live with us at our cottage in the summer.

I remember one summer in particular. I was 5 and Granny and I shared my room. Both of us early risers, and extremely short (Granny was well under 5 feet) were like two peas in a pod, paling around, fishing in my aluminum row boat, having tea parties and playing Crazy Eights. Granny always wore a dress, with a giant broach at her bosom, a colourful hat, coke bottle thick glasses and tissues and hankies stuck up, in and down ever crevice.

Granny's claim, when asked about her extremely good health and longevity, was very simple. Eat good food. Particularly important was breakfast. Her specific recommendation, All Bran cereal, warm milk and blackstrap molasses. Every morning, without fail.

This, Granny instructed, set up your entire body for the day. Protein and fiber gave her energy and a bathroom routine you could set a clock to. She insisted both were the most important things. Keeping regular and having get up and go.

If she could, I'm sure she'd add one more. Keeping out of the way of big people with poor balance.

Sue Richards


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