My grandmother, former Canadian senator Dr. Thelma J. Chalifoux, was laid to rest today. She was a force to be reckoned with, a fierce defender of First Nations and women's rights, and she worked tirelessly to serve others and help them wherever she could. She was the first indigenous woman ever appointed to the senate in the Canadian federal government. She won a lot of awards, including the National Aboriginal Achievement award, and I am so proud of all her accomplishments.
So, while my grandma wasn't a traditional grandma and she was a very busy woman, she was still devoted to her family. Whatever cause she was involved in, she brought the family along with her. She taught us about strength and perseverance, and she loved us all. Some of my best memories of her are just laughing together over old stories and when it was time to go, her arm would slip around my shoulders and she would say, "Love you, my girl." I will miss that laugh. I'll miss her smile. I'll miss her.
Love you, Grandma Kookum. Always.