Ingrid Kellaghan: Remembering My Grandmother

July 22, 2011

Dear Friends,

Today I take a step away from my usual blog topics to share with you that my beloved 92 year old maternal grandmother passed away this week. She was an integral part of my life. We were incredibly close and I’m reeling from the loss.

My grandmother was quit simply the most  extraordinary woman I have ever known. She fled her native country of Latvia in 1944 with only one possession – her daughter (my mother) who was still in her womb. Her husband was killed. Family members were slaughtered. Her only sibling was a physics professor. He was taken away to a concentration camp. She literally fled for her life with one goal – to keep herself and her daughter alive.

After giving birth to my mother she lived outdoors for many months hiding in old farmhouses or wherever she could find refuge. (As a mother I can’t wrap my brain around caring for a newborn under these circumstances.)

As a newborn my mother suffered from dysentery, most likely from being a nomad in the first moths of her life, lack of basic hygiene and inadequate nutrition from her mother’s breasts. Diapers were made from torn clothes.  Changed, cleaned, and warmed from body heat under clothes. Unimaginable. Sympathizers would throw bread or bits of food. To safe haven. Wandering with a small group that included her sister-in-law. She was continuously shot at…still have a wool blanket with bullet holes.

After the War, concentration camps were converted to Displaced Person Camps to house refugees. My grandmother raised my mother in a Displaced Person Camp in Germany, eventually getting permission to immigrate to the United States in 1957.

Despite my grandmother seeing the dark side of humanity she was a beautiful example of kindness, courage, generosity, determination, and love. I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to fully articulate my love and admiration for her.

Grandmother was a small petite woman – but mighty. She was gentle and spoke softly, just above a whisper. She was a true lady. She had exquisite taste and was a gracious host. Her table settings were breathtaking.  She loved cooking, baking and tending to her substantial  flower, vegetable and fruit gardens. Her needle work was flawless. She dressed impeccably which reflected her meticulous and exact nature. She was humble and unostentatious.

Grandma held a deep love and respect for America and our military.  Hearing the national anthem could move her to tears.

Grandma was consistently and reliably involved in the lives of her grandchildren. When I walked into the room her eyes lit up. She was always available and present when I needed her – physically and emotionally. She believed in me before I believed in myself.  I knew I was deeply loved.

Grandma was fluent in 4 languages, including English, yet she spoke Latvian  to me and I responded in English.  It was our special thing.

To strangers my Grandma could be perceived as  aloof and austure.  When it came to family and friends she was incredibly warm and demonstrative. It was like she saved the very best of herself  for those she loved.

When I was dating my husband we visited my grandmother often. While the visits were intended for them to get to know each other better, I also sought her approval. I valued her opinion. She adored my husband and they became very close friends. She adored her great grand children and I will never forget her reaction to seeing each of my daughters for the very first time after they were born.

I hope my daughters never forget the matriarch who came before them. I hope her life inspires them, as it did me, to make a meaningful difference in the lives of others. To champion social justice – no matter how controversial or complex. To take a stand, even when everyone around you is sitting down.  To be a compassionate presence…Be brave. Be strong. Work hard. Give it your all. Dig deep.

End of life is hard to grasp.

There are moments I I feel like I can catch my breath. But one thing for sure is that I know I’ll get through it. My Grandmother taught me through example how to survive life’s hardest storms. Just one of her many legacies.

Oh how she will be missed.

With Incredible Love,

Ingrid Kellaghan

 

 

 

 

Goo-Goo-Ga-Ga over Pediped

July 12, 2011

It’s official. We love pediped®

Thank you pediped for donating your revolutionary shoes to Cambridge Nanny Group’s parent/nanny orientation attended by new Mom’s and Dad’s. We are goo-goo-ga-ga over this product. And you will be too. We’ll post pics of the lucky Mommy who wins this spectacular product next month.

From its inception, pediped® has designed footwear to promote healthy foot development. Our mantra has always been comfort, quality and style, in that order. This is why pediped® shoes were among the first children’s footwear to be awarded the American Podiatric Medical Association Seal of Acceptance for promoting healthy foot development. You can rest assured that pediped® is a footwear company that cares about the health and well being of your child’s growing feet.

Comfort

pediped® footwear is made with premium grade, non-toxic leather. Foam insoles & cushions provide a comfortable fit, along with padded heels to absorb shock. pediped® simply offers the ultimate in comfort and protection while promoting healthy foot development.

Quality

Unsurpassed quality and craftsmanship have earned pediped® footwear a loyal following. Premium grade leather, distinctive styling and remarkable attention to detail have resulted in truly exceptional shoes. pediped® footwear has caught the attention of parents, grandparents and celebrities alike.

Style

With over 120 fashion‐forward styles to choose from, pediped® strives to give parents the look they want, at a price they can afford, all the while being healthy for children’s feet.

pediped Originals®, Grip ‘n’ Go™, and Flex® have been officially recognized by the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA) as being beneficial for children’s growing feet.

To purchase visit www.pediped.com or visit your local child’s shoe store.
For more information on our Pediped giveaway please email laura@cambridgenannygroup.com


Cambridge Nanny Group
4707 N Broadway
3rd Floor
Chicago, IL 60640
Telephone: 773-856-5525 

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