About this time last year my two little boys, my husband and myself went to see my Nan. I had no idea it would be the last time I’d spend time with her or tell her I loved her. She was very ill with cancer, but she was also the strongest person in the world, to me. I had no idea that 4 days later I’d have to pass on the devastating news to my brother that our Nan had died, just over three weeks after our Grandma passed away. This time it wasn’t a blessing, as it had been with my Grandma who had suffered for so long. This time it was hard to take in, impossible to accept, and just devastating. It took me about 10 months to fully come to terms with the fact that she was no longer here, in this life, in my life. I wasn’t prepared for her to die, in fact I childishly clung on to the idea that she never would. How could this woman who kept all my pieces together when I was a child, who showed me how and why to be generous to all kinds of people, who had five children, 9 grandchildren and 5 great-grandchildren, who was nearly always cheerful but matter-of-fact, who was so many things to so many people, be gone?
But she is, and so is my Grandma, my Grandad, my step-Grandma and Grandad and my uncle. The first three within the same 12 months, making four including my Nan. One positive thing about my Nan dying when she did was that she didn’t see my Mum being diagnosed with the same disease that killed her and her first son.
So, on the first anniversary of missing my Nan, I want to state my gratitude for her mental strength, my Grandad’s physical strength – which have been passed on to my Mum and are giving her the strength to somehow deal with terminal cancer, my Grandma’s humility and sense of humour and my uncle’s brotherly love and sense of humour.
I’ll buy some yellow flowers for my Nan today, and will do the same on this day for the rest of my life…I might have a small Baileys in her honour too!