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Friday, 1 April 2011

Why Was It The Worst Day Of My Life?

No, it’s not my birthday. If only...

No, it’s been 4 long and gruesome years since my Nan died. I know some of you may think “so what?!” (and I know you wont admit it but its true), but I LOVED her SO much!

Seriously, like she was better than my parents. She was there for me when I was upset, I could tell her anything – even those things that I couldn’t tell my real parents – she was strict but fair, loving. We never argued or bickered and she was an escape from everything real.

She was the best things about a parent, rolled up into one bundle, without all of the shit that comes with it.

This version always reminds me of her </3


Since I was a child I can remember taking those daily trips to the Day-care centre about a mile away from her house, walking through the park and persuading her to stop every day! I remember little about day-care, but I remember that walk vividly! I could probably go there tomorrow.

Then after day-care, I would come back to her house for the afternoon and we would play. This continued for several years. Always the same, but different: like only a child can see. I would create the same Lego zoo, down to the very brick, I would sit there as she would teach me how to sew or garden or cook. She would cut the crusts off of my ham sandwiches and cut them into triangles for me to eat. The only way I could. Every now and then, I would redesign her garden (when I wanted to be a landscape gardener) and somehow it would involve a swimming pool.

I remember the sheer lies she would tell me and that I believed for years: she had a massive ants nest under her garden (there was a vertical bump down her garden) and later found out it was a water-line; that she rolled her eyes into the back of her head and she had to have an operation to correct them; so many more!

I remember the evolution of her house. Sleeping with my sisters in her dining room, and being kept awake at night by the road. Sleeping next to the stairs when my sisters out-grew these sleep-over’s. When the re-did their downstairs WC, when she converted their loft into another bedroom, painting a mural in her bedroom ..

Its still there you know.

The very lines she drew 5 long years ago. She drew a sunset and painted it, but she couldn’t decide if she wanted the twinkling fairy lights of the city to calm her to sleep, or if she wanted the soothing sounds of the Serengeti. So she left it, then she fell ill and we waited for her to finish it. It hardly seems right to finish it, or to remove it ...

She had always been quite sickly. She suffered from bad asthma and chest infections for as long as I can remember. I later found out that she had ME, which made me feel terrible because I always tried to make her be active and she never complained. Then she got severe chest infections a couple of times a year and she went into hospital.

She was there for about a year, on and off, until they put her in a hospice. I knew what one was, bit it didn’t really sink in. Not really. I didn’t visit her much then. I hated seeing her so weak and frail. But I had to see her, I loved her too much.

Then it was too late.

I don’t remember how I found out, or what I did next, I just remember feeling dead and cold inside. I cried myself to sleep countless nights.

I closed of my heart to almost everyone, and to this day she is one of the only things that can make me cry.

I remember her warm embrace, and her sweet eyes. I loved her. In day-care I used to make her little gifts. I once cut out everything she loves from a magazine (dolls, sewing, cats, figurines etc) and pasted them onto a coaster and gave it to here. Its still there you know, on her bed-side table. I remember when I got a set of 3 cat crystals, I gave my favourite to her. That’s still there too.

She got died 4 years and one week ago today. She was cremated and her ashes were buried under an ascer, just like the one in her prized garden, and the whole family goes there every year on this day to visit her and think about how she has improved each of our lives.

I know she is dead, but every now and then I will be reminded of her somehow. I will be buying the same type of mints she would have, or the smell of rich-tea biscuits or freshly cut grass and I’ll just think of her in that moment. Like she is there with me, looking over me.

I know she is gone, but in some way, she is still there.

RIP Nan xxx


Billy said...

She may be gone, but her spirit lives on in the people whose lives she touched. You are fortunate to have had her in your life, to have shown you a good way to live.

Don't punish yourself for not saying goodbye. Death is a big thing at any time of life, but even more so when you're young. Sometimes kids just aren't ready to handle a loss like that. But from it you've learnt perhaps the most important lesson, to make the most of the time that is left.

A Wandering Pom said...



I'm sorry that you have lost such a wonderful person from your life, but at least you have lots of happy memories to hold on to.

If it's any consolation, I think you must have brightened up the last years of her life as she brightened up the first years of yours: this is a special gift which grandparents and grandchildren can give each other. I'm sure she must have been well aware of your love for her, from the gifts you gave and the enthusiasm with which you made her part of your life.



Wayne said...

Nicely said Jack; it sounds like your grandmother made the best of life and that is what all of us should do. We have the gift of awareness and consciousness; don't waste it, Carpe Diem. bfn - Wayne :)

jaygeemmm said...

What a sad, but wonderful post, Jack. It's awful when you lose someone like that, but you are so fortunate to have all those sweet memories of a great lady and influence in your life. Her love for you is clear, and your love for her the same, and it continues to this day. What a grand legacy she has left you in the memories and memorials of her life.

Peace <3

Jack xx said...

Thanks everyone, its still a difficult topic for me because the wound is still fresh, but thank you all for being there. Billy, you’re right that she lives on and I will make sure that her legacy will continue. I know Mark, I know she loved me and knew how much I loved her, but it still doesn’t stop me thinking that I should have been there to say goodbye and to hold her hand etc. I don’t intend to waste it Wayne haha, one of the benefits of being surrounded by death lol. And finally Jay, not much more I can say here haha, but thank you. You’re right that she was a great woman, I just wish she could be here now so I would have more memories with her :/

Jack xx

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