This time of year is one when I think of you often, those lovely half terms spent with you and Gramps as a child and then the anniversary of your death nine years ago. I was sorting out some old photos with Little Miss this week, how I wish you could have met my children, and I found some stunning images of you, from carefree days with your friend Ina, cuddled up to Gramps and then as a Mum.
I loved you as a Grandma, you bought me my first Sindy doll, taught me how to bake and always looked after us so well when we stayed with you in Scotland, my memories are of lovely home cooking, trips out, daily Mass and treats. You were a warm and loving Grandma. As I got older and went to university and started my adult life, my trips to see you still continued. We had a different relationship, you were wise and encouraging and seemed to understand all the pressures of being a young woman. You were a revelation when a Uni friend and I stayed with you for a few days, so funny and contemporary, you were the coolest Grandma and understood, counselled and encouraged us to be strong, intelligent women. On reflection, I wish I had asked more about your experiences at our age. When I got to be in my midtwenties, your dementia developed, sometimes you were a bit confused or forgetful, other times lucid. However you got to know Mr S on our visits to Scotland and whilst you never visited our house, I remember showing you all the details of our new house and your delight in our home. This meant a lot to me. When I didn’t see you I used to write to you, when I came up to Scotland for your funeral it was comforting to find my last card sent a few days before your death on the side, it had been read to you so I know you had all my news and knew how much I loved you.
As time and your dementia progressed, I was no longer your granddaughter but your sister and you used to talk to me about school days and your parents. I know this upset some family, but you were happy and relaxed when you spoke and I was happy to be in a happy place with you. My Mum, your daughter was in New York, when I got the phone call that you were very ill and slipping away. Sadly, we were both too far away to get to be with you. I remember being in tears to your local florist, asking them to find the most beautiful and sweet smelling flowers and to deliver them to you as quickly as possible(they did) so that you had the simple sensory pleasures of beautiful, fresh flowers as you were dying, you loved flowers. As a devout Catholic I took great comfort in that you knew you were going somewhere special and safe.
You are not forgotten. I often wear my gold cross and necklace and the photo of me, you and Mum at a family wedding is one of my favourite photos. I love baking and your cherry scone recipe cannot be matched! My faith is also very important to me. I hope you would be proud of me, I miss you but know you are looking over me.
Lots of Love
Your granddaughter xx