Joy, Life & Living, Love

100% joyful grandma = 17.5 million glorious yt views

YouTube video screenshot of Macklemore’s Grandma Helen on her big day of adventure

Benjamin Hammond Haggerty (aka Macklemore) rapper, singer and songwriter, went to visit his grandmother to celebrate her 100th birthday.
“Today, we’re gonna do whatever you want to do,” he says after she gets over the initial shock of seeing him at the door.

“Oh honey,” she says. “Anything?”

“Anything, you want to do. Anything,” he assures her.

“I want to do it all,” she says.

And so begins their glorious day.

The response to this joyful grandma/grandson day of adventures l has been overwhelming: 17.5 million views, over half a million “likes,” and more than 18,000 comments (as of July 20, 2017). I love that. And I love that the video models a loving, respectful and fun relationship between a grandson and his grandmother, all while smashing some of the stereotypes around aging.

Grandma Helen is a force of nature, full of life and fun – at 100 years old. Good for her. And good for Macklemore for producing a music video that speaks to people – one that EVERYONE can enjoy because it’s not full of nudity, sex, seduction, violence, and vulgarity. Rather, it’s 100% Grandma, gratitude and good clean fun (well, mostly, except for the lap dance LOL!).

Here are some of the YouTube comments that caught my eye in a quick scan:

★Is it me or when you listen to this song it makes me like there is no hate in the world??

★This is absolutely phenomenal. I can feel the love he shared with his grandma in this video. It’s so light hearted and sweet but also quite emotional as well. I simply love rap like this.

★Just give it a Grammy ( to which someone quipped: He doesn’t need a Grammy, all he needs is his Granny)

★I’am 12 year’s old and my Grandpa and grandma are very old(grandpa=80 grandma=78)and i didn’t won’t that they die.They Both have an accident with their legs and now they can’t walk normaly.I write this in the comments because I think,it doesn’t matter if you are buissy or angry.You must to be have Time for your family and grandmas.

★Bruh I love this song! The only song in 2017 without drugs, porn, vulgarly, etc..

★This deserves WAY MORE LIKES and WAY MORE VIEWS! 100% No Violence 100% No Drugs 100% No Half Naked Women Running Around In Bikinis 100% No Gangs 100% A Man That Cares About His Family 100% GLORIOUS GIVE THIS MAN A GRAMMY ALREADY!! Faith In Humanity Restored


★17 millions view? :O WTF?? Deserved 1 billion views !

★This is inspiring. I love this video sooo much, I love my grandma, she is 77 and has PSP, I spend as much time with her. This video made me cry, this video will stay with me for the rest of my life


★Thank God for rappers that actually care for their family now a days. Big Shoutout to him.

★I won’t lie… I cried

You go Grandma Helen, and good on your rapper grandson for showing the world what counts.

Joy, Life & Living, Love, Memories

beauty & the bbq on the back deck


July 8, 2017: The images popped up unbidden on my Facebook page–did I want to re-share this photo album from five years ago today? My chest tightened. A prickly ball make its way up my throat, and lodged at the top of it.

I’d “forgotten” about the dozens of delightful meals we’d eaten on the back deck in the summer of 2012, the one before Mom went into what I came to call “ElderJail.” I hadn’t thought about the hundreds such meals–breakfasts, lunches and dinners–we’d enjoyed over the 40 years she’d lived in the big red brick house on the hill. But when FB reminded me, I was flooded with memories.

There’s something really important everyone should know about Alzheimer disease:

A diagnosis of dementia is no more a death sentence than life itself is. People who live with dementia have the capacity to experience joy, love, sadness, happiness, grief and wonder just like we all do for a very long time. And that capacity is enhanced when they are surrounded by people who care deeply for them, and who help them engage life in whatever way they can in the moment.

On July 8, 2012, when Mom was well into the mid “stages” of Alzheimer disease, we savoured a meal of fresh vegetables I grilled on the barbecue. The food was delicious. The late-afternoon sun cast long soft shadows across the edges of the field. Mom looked beautiful and happy.

I’m grateful for the time we had, despite the challenges we also endured, and I’m pleased to share these thoughts and images with you today.

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Joy, Life & Living, Memories

autumn memories on mom’s clothesline


October 14, 2014: Autumn is extraordinarily beautiful in Canada, particularly in Quebec’s Eastern Townships where members of my family have lived since about 1963, and to which I returned in October 2011 to care for my mom.

One of my greatest joys during the year I lived with and cared for Mom in her own home was to photograph the natural beauty that surrounded us. I sometimes got up before she awoke and snapped images at dawn. When Carolyn was with us on weekdays, I escaped for long walks on nearby country roads with my iPhone and its self-contained camera close at hand.

The fall seasons of 2012 and 2013 have special significance for me. Here are some of the autumnal images that remind of those times and places:


I discovered the autumn of life can be extraordinary too; difficult, yes, but captivating in its own way. It’s sad to see life fold in on itself, to witness living things shrivel, die and decay. But even close to the end there can be beauty, peace and vibrant colour. I know. I saw it, and I’m grateful.

Photographed September and October 2012 and 2013; originally posted October 14, 2014.

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