My Grandma Story at Rain City Chronicles

I was recently honoured to be invited to participate at a Rain City Chronicles event by telling a personal story that addressed the theme of “Recipe For…” along with fellow Foodists members Eagranie Yuh and Anthony Nicalo (both of whom told amazing stories).

I decided to recount the emotional story of spending a week alone with my dad in his hometown in southern Manitoba sorting through his childhood home after his mother, my grandmother, recently passed away unexpectedly. As you can imagine, it was a painful experience to endure, but also a wonderful chance to spend some terrific time bonding with my “old man”.

While the experience originally unfolded I posted images and tweets in real time, creating an online form of storytelling as I shared the experience with friends and family back home. Some images were touching and nostalgic, others were funny and even shocking, all of them were genuine aspects of the story and part of my own grieving process and a form of catharsis as much as anything else. People began reaching out to me, thanking me for opening up and sharing the images and my experiences with them. So for my story at Rain City Chronicles I decided to create a slideshow of all the images from that week as a backdrop to my story.

I share both with you here now.

My Grandma Story at Rain City Chronicles from Mark Busse on Vimeo.


9 Responses to “My Grandma Story at Rain City Chronicles”

  1. Posted on May 16th, 2011

    Dude, this is amazing.

  2. Posted on May 16th, 2011

    beautiful, Mark. thanks for sharing.

  3. Posted on May 16th, 2011

    Wiping the tears away. Well done, Mark.

  4. Posted on May 16th, 2011

    Tears here too. I’m so glad you were there with dad to help him with all of this. We will always have our memories. Thank you.

  5. Posted on May 17th, 2011

    I am so glad that you took the time to share these memories with us. What a beautiful thing! My thoughts have been with you and your Dad as you went through this process. I knew it would be difficult. Some years ago your Grandma gave us a bottle of rye (unopened) from Canada’s Centennial (1967). My Grandfather had given it to your Grandfather at that time. I still have it (unopened) and will pass it on to my grandchildren when it is time. Thanks Mark for being there for your Dad! Your Grandma was one wonderful lady and she will be sadly missed by our family.

    Ward and Pat McNeil

  6. Posted on May 17th, 2011

    Cool speech mate. I didn’t get a chance to go to my Gran’s funeral or to explore her belongings, having seen this video I wish I had. It seemed like a strange but almost perfect way to say good bye to her for you.

    By the way how was the booze, did it age well?

  7. Posted on May 18th, 2011

    Sincere thanks to everyone for their comments, it means a lot—especially those from my family.

    Ah yes, the booze. It was delicious. My plan actually is to share it soon with my fellow Foodists at a potluck dinner to honor all our grandmothers—where each member takes one of my grandma’s old, hand-written recipes and makes that dish. Perhaps we’ll film it and share it with our readers and fans!

    Now go call your grandma and tell her you love her! Go!

  8. Posted on May 18th, 2011

    That was beautiful. Going through the belongings of a family member who has passed away is what most people dread, but what an experience you had with your father. Thank you for sharing. And yes, I’m going to call my Grandmother. As soon as that lump in my throat goes away.

  9. Posted on May 18th, 2011

    I’m Pat McNeil’s sister-in-law (married to Warren Klassen). I loved your tribute to your Grandma. She was part of the Klassen family. I was amazed at how she was able to remember to send birthday cards to everyone in our family for every occasion. Whenever we went home to Gretna, we would always go visit her. My kids always called her Auntie Jo and they always knew that there would be a couple of bucks in their birthday card. We are sorry for your loss. You were very fortunate to have such a wonderful Grandma.

    Florence Klassen
    Regina Saskatchewan

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