It has been two long years since I lost my precious Nan. I wrote this piece on the anniversary of her death. It has taken me a few weeks to feel up to posting it.
Today marks two years since you passed away Nan, and not a day goes by that I don’t think about and or miss you. We all do.
Mitch and I are currently living overseas in Nova Scotia, in Halifax to be specific. Being away from home has made today considerably harder to deal with but I’m trying. I will always try for you Nan, because you are a part of me, you live on in Mitch and I, in everyone whose lives you touched because it was just always meant to be.
Whilst out driving today Mitch was asked to tell Kerrie & Racquel something about you that they wouldn’t have known. He told them about the time you were staying with us at The Oaks and there was a Doggies game on the TV. He remembers you were perched on the edge of the coffee table screaming (in a ladylike manner of course), at the players to get a move on, to get the try.
Another memory he has was how every time you wanted to watch TV, whether it be the news or something else, you used to call him into the room and ask him to turn the TV on for you because the remotes confused you.
What I thought I’d write about today were other similar moments throughout the years that also hold the same sentimental value to me.
I remember spending a week most school holidays with you and Pa. We used to watch Mary Poppins every school holidays, and we used to play Snakes & Ladders, Scrabble, Trivial Pursuit & card games to pass the time. In fact, you were the one who taught me how to play Patience. On the last day of the holidays you would usually take Nate & I to the movies to see whatever we wanted. Then you would take us out to McDonalds for lunch afterwards. Your order remained the same throughout my childhood and I’ll never forget it. A Filet-O-Fish burger. For some reason you changed your preference over the last ten or so years & would instead order a McChicken burger.
I looked forward to spending Boxing Day with you and the extended family every year, & not just because of your special gift to us all. Every year you made us a hand knitted coat hanger. Something made with love. And I can’t forget of course, a bag of plain Cadbury miniature chocolates. Mostly, it was because I saw how happy it made you, how having all of your family, your extended family & then of course your friends who became family, under the one roof sharing in the joy of Christmas. These were some of the happiest times I’ve ever seen you have.
I fondly remember the times you’d come to celebrate our birthdays when we were kids. Regardless of Mum & Dad’s situation, you were always sure to still be there for us and Mum as best you could. I was only just glancing back at photos of you with us at our parties back in those days and you were as beautiful & elegant then as you were your whole life.
Mum has always told me that you & I were two peas in a pod. Not only do I look like you, but as we found out in later years, I had your heart too. I miss our long chats about anything & everything, especially during our drive home after you had come to stay. There was nothing I couldn’t tell you & you would never judge me & I thank you for that.
I remember when I was ready to come out to you guys, my grandparents. I was so scared, afraid I’d be disappointing you all. I was scared you wouldn’t want me in your life. All of my fears were put to rest when you told me that regardless of whom I loved, you loved me and always would.
I don’t think I’ll ever forget your favourite perfume, Youth Dew by Estee Lauder, particularly because it became a favourite of mine. I remember I used to use your bathroom when we’d visit and I’m fairly sure that pretty much every single time, I’d spray a little on myself before leaving your room. It was always a comfort for me if that makes sense.
At this precise moment I’m sitting watching Mitchell put together LEGO and I remember having watched you whilst you would watch him do it when he was younger. If only you could be here to watch him now, as the snow falls outside the window behind him. I’m sure that you, wherever you are (& very likely with his Pa,) are watching as well. Even more likely is that you & his Pa are sitting whilst watching over us all with a Bailey’s on ice “because it’s very very nice” as Dad used to say.
One of my fondest memories isn’t one that I can actually remember myself. What I remember is the joy I would see on your face as you would share it with others years later. You would tell about when I was a little girl and sitting on your lap one time, I reached up and stroked your face. Then I innocently asked you if you were a pussy cat because you had a few whiskers. You would chuckle whenever telling friends about it, not in the very least embarrassed, Instead you were proud to be sharing the story, which is something I’m trying to learn to be like given I now have my very own whiskers.
Likewise, Mitchell has similar memories of you sharing stories about him. He can’t remember you cheering him on when he was asked to represent the Kindergarten classes, to go up on stage at the formal assembly to help the Principal and School Captain cut the cake to commemorate a special occasion. What he enjoys remembering is watching the joy and happiness it gave you in telling your friends about it. He loves how proud of him you always were, no matter what. Thank you for being a wonderful and proud Great Grandmother to our boy Nanna.
There are so many things that hold fond memories for, so many reasons to smile when thinking of you. Pearls are just one example because you would usually always be wearing some. Or an elegant necklace which would perfectly accentuate your latest beautiful outfit you were wearing.
Another is toothpaste for a very different but funny reason. I can literally not remember ever having seen you without a splash of toothpaste on whatever shirt/jumper/blouse you were wearing for the day and you’d laugh it off saying “oh well”. You’d be chuffed to know Mitchell seems to have taken up the same habit himself.
You’d also be tickled pink to know that when I go to take my medication now Mitchell quotes what you used to say every single day when taking yours. It’s time for Mumma’s “pills for dills” he says, he’s still a cheeky little bugger, something you adored watching grow in him.