Some people are fortunate to still have their grandparents in their lives; Iain Reid, is one of those people. His new memoir The Truth About Luck is the story of going on a vacation or, rather, staycation, with his ninety-two year old Grandmother. After learning that his brother has abandoned their usual homemade gifts route, Iain is left to his own devices to plan a stellar birthday gift. Opting to take a different route than the scented candle option, he decides that the one thing he wants to give his Grandmother is time. Time to spend with him, time to spend together; so what better way to create time together than by going on a road trip.
It might seem unconventional to most, a twenty-eight year old man and a ninety-two year old woman on a road trip. But off they went, conformity be damned, all the way from Ottawa to Kingston. After a few “goofballs” (which I learned was coffee) and a lot of please and thank you’s, they arrive in Kingston where Iain’s home is located for their official staycation. Now you might be saying to yourself, “well that’s not much of a road trip”, but like any twenty-eight year old (who isn’t a fan of airplanes) it’s what Iain could afford to give his Grandma. Luckily he has the coolest Grandmother ever, because she’s just as thrilled to go to Kingston as she would be if they had travelled across the country. Truth be told, she and her friends are blown away that he wanted to take a trip with her in the first place.
Their trip together expands over five days, five days of which, Iain breaks down in great detail. From learning about the war, her days as a nurse, their sleeping patterns to wincing (me) through his fear of something through his ears while sleeping, they cover all their bases. Taking the time to learn about our elders past is unfortunately something we don’t do often enough, that’s why I enjoyed the time Iain recounts experiencing a story from his Grandma in a coffee shop,
I look around me, at the other tables and people in the cafe. Everyone is busy with their computers and books, their music and papers. I have the urge to tell everyone to shut up, to gather around, to listen. But I don’t.
In your late twenties, you have those feelings about “what it all means” and what tomorrow might bring. I can only assume that at the end of your life, life in itself is all about enjoying the company around you and reliving all the experiences that led you to the here and now. This is a memoir that explores two individuals at different ends of the spectrum, but more importantly, it’s really about discovering who you are and who you want to become.
The Truth About Luck is a wonderful and touching story of a Grandmother and Grandson. It will make you chuckle, it’ll make you smile, but most importantly it will make you realize that time is of the essence. Take the time to know your family, whether it be your Grandparents, an Aunt or your Parents, because you’re bound to learn something!
Check out this great article in the Globe and Mail for pictures of Iain and his Grandmother and a touching video that will have you rushing to your local bookseller to get a copy of this great memoir.