Hello Wellness Torch and Good-bye Grandma Cookie,
On Tuesday November 26, we lost my mother-in-law Jackie to a heart attack. She was 87 and full of spunk and vitality. Sure she was getting slower and she knew she needed to do more walking but she was ready to meet up with her man Johnny to do some dancing to Glen Miller in the big dance floor in the sky.
She will be missed.
Not just because she supported the dreams of all her kids, grandchildren and great grandchild but because she was also a super wellness advocate.
I recall the early days of my dating experience with my man when Jackie would go on about Vitamin C and Linus Pauling and how we needed to eat healthy and to take our vitamins. She was a regular reader of all things holistic and was against the use of modern medicine for her own health. A trip to her favourite wellness pharmacy was all she needed. With her first heart attack two years ago, the paramedics asked what medications she was on at 85. When the response came back none, they did not believe it and asked what was she taking again – a walk over to her vitamin shelf showcased how she was supporting her health. When she passed away on Tuesday, she still did not take any medications.
What I loved about Jackie was how she found a passion for writing at a later part of her life. Everyday she would continue to write and edit a book she did on her spiritual followings including the history and teachings. She was never afraid to be different and to follow her heart.
And follow her heart she did by becoming one of the first woman in Toronto to have natural childbirth in 1951. She just felt it was not right to give medications during birth, so worked with her doctor to do it differently. She showed real bravery in a world that was telling women to stop thinking for them self and to follow the information of the experts.
When I went back to school to become a Registered Holistic Nutritionist, my mother-in-law was a HUGE supporter of my new career path. I think she secretly thought she finally got through to me – and likely she did as I could hear her voice sharing her knowledge as I relearned what she told me in school.
What I think is the most amazing about Jackie, is that she really made a point of telling us to follow our dreams, to not follow the masses, to fight for the oppressed and to live life to the fullest and abundance will be enjoyed.
Of coarse, all her morals and ideals are part of who my husband is and for that I am grateful. I am also thankful she was able to share her gifts with my son and daughter.
She was also a grandma who served hard ginger-snaps when you came to visit and was forever called “Grandma Cookie” by my children. A name she just loved as it was a special connection with her grandchildren.
So today, I carry the Wellness Torch for Jackie and for all of you who are on a wellness journey. I will follow the path of others and be brave to create my own path too.
To Grandma Cookie. We love you and will remember you fondly,
Your Wellness Cheerleader and 9 Cup Challenge partner