Naughton, Gizela "Grace" (Gabanyicz)
Naughton, Gizela "Grace"
Eight months ago today Gizela "Grace" Naughton (nee Gabanyicz) was laid to rest. She was a beautiful soul that had seen and accomplished a lot in her 81 years on earth. She was born in Welland, Ontario Canada and was the last of seven children, sharing the spotlight with her twin brother, Leslie. As a young lass, she was adventurous and mischievous - something she would pass on to her children. When she was 18, her adventures brought her to a bowling alley in Niagara Falls, NY where she met her future husband, Roy C. Naughton. Fast forward fourteen months, and Roy and Grace began having children; seven in 10 years. As a young mother, Mom had family dinner on the table every night and boy could she cook! It's a talent all her children share. To this day, many of her children make the same recipes she made for her young family. Most years, camping was the family vacation. Mom could pack a three-seater station wagon with all the necessities for camping - tent, propane stove, food, camping gear, seven kids and one husband - never is there a memory of feeling cramped in that car, just the song "Yellow Bird" playing from the 8-track tape player as we traveled to our destination. Once to our campsite and unpacked, Mom assigned each kid a duty: unpack food, set up the pantry, gather firewood, put up the tent, etc. In no time the campsite was ready and fun was waiting. To this day, I've not heard of anyone who could replicate organization like Grace Naughton's. She was amazing that way. Mom was an incredibly creative and artistic woman. In the 1970's, before things were trendy, she was setting trends; Faux brick accent walls for that rustic and earthy feeling, the stand-alone fireplace for that homey feeling, and the eventually popular, shag rug and, of course, raking of the shag rug. Yes, raking the rug was a thing! She was a stylish woman back in the day as well, wearing her Susan B. turban and her platform sandals. Such a beautiful, vibrant and young-looking woman that no one could have guessed she was the mother of seven children. When Mom and Dad became empty nesters, Mom transformed into yet another, amazing woman - The Artist known as Gizzy. She dabbled in many different art mediums; stained glass, oils, pastels, charcoals, ceramics, pottery, stone sculpting and so much more, and all self-taught. Everything she created was nicer than the last. She left behind so many beautiful pieces of art that hang in the houses of her children, bringing continued memories, stories and smiles. In her final year, Mom's love of her cat Maggie, listening to the radio, watching PBS, completing jigsaw puzzles and playing games on her computer kept her focused and entertained. For that, I am grateful. When she passed, she was ready . . . I was not. I get it now Mom. Thank you.