Editor: I couldn't let another year go by without letting you know about my Grandma, Emma Bonneville.
She moved to Burnaby in the early 1990s and enjoyed her daily walks. Almost daily, she would walk to Metrotown from her home close to Kingsway and Boundary and take the bus or SkyTrain home with parcels, although on nice days she might walk home too. She had her daily routine, visiting her favorite shops and stopping at the Food Fair for coffee and a snack while visiting with the other regulars in their retirement.
I would say my Grandma lives for Metrotown, and without it I don't think she'd be with us today. Whenever I would come to visit or anyone came to visit for that matter, she liked to meet at the Food Fair and if anyone needed anything, she knew exactly where you should go and who had the best sales! Even up until the age of 90, she would walk to Metrotown in nice weather and still zip around the mall, people would call her the roadrunner.
Over the last few years, her body has been slowing her down. She lived in a two-bedroom condo up until two years ago, and now lives independently in a studio apartment. She's really quite remarkable. She would still like to visit Metrotown daily if she could, but now she's limited to a couple of days of shopping each week with my Mom. She takes a taxi there and a bus home, can you imagine?
During this time of year especially, she and my Mom usually encounter a less fortunate soul and they will make sure to give them charitable help to get through the holidays.
She's met a lot of interesting people over the years, and many people take a picture with her in the Food Fair because they can't believe her age.
Sadly, many of the regulars she met with early on have passed on over the years, and now her sense of direction can get a little thrown off but she still manages to find her way to her favourite spot for coffee.
Many of the staff know her and have met with four or five generations of our family since it feels like a family reunion there at times.
My grandma turns 97 on Dec. 17, and I've been wanting to tell this story for years because she's truly amazing, and Metrotown has been such a special place for her. I know she'll be going there as long as she possibly can.