Bit of a personal one today lovely readers, but I’m thinking its a subject most of us can relate too. I hope you enjoy reading non the less.
Three years ago today I lost my lovely Nanna Kitty. She passed away in 2008 and 1095 days later I still miss her something awful.
I don’t really want to remember the day she passed away as it is understandably upsetting, but what I will say is that she was surrounded by her family and knew she was in the thoughts of the people she loved the most. I do believe that a wise old wizard once said: ‘death is but the next great adventure,’ and Kitty was sent off on the journey to her next adventure with kisses, lots of love and a fair few tears.
Nanna Kitty was the only grandparent I had growing up but she more than made up for it. My other nanna died before I was born and I lost my two granddad’s when I was very young. On certain occasions such as birthdays, Christmas’ & today for instance, the anniversary of her death we go the cemetery and take my Nan some flowers. But after everything she gave to me over the years this hardly seems enough. So instead, this year, I’ll give her what I’m good at. Words.
I wish I could tell her how much I miss her and say thank you. No one ever says thank you to the people they love do they? We just take for granted the gifts and love they give, the memories they create and the lessons they teach. When the time came I thought it was more important to say goodbye than thank you.
Well since heaven doesn’t have a postal address I’m going to say it here instead.
My Nan played a huge part in my life as she was always just around the corner. As kids we saw her practically every day. What made my Nan infinitely cooler than other Nan’s was that she wasn’t from Doncaster (where we live) or England even, but from Ireland. On request she would regale my sister and I with stories of her homeland, sing Irish ditties and when my mum wasn’t listening, tell dirty Irish jokes.
Speaking of jokes, thankfully it’s the funny memories I remember the most.
I honestly believe it was my Nan who taught me how to laugh. She could never fail to raise a smile even from her moodiest and most badly behaved grandchild (that would be me.) Kitty had a plethora of jokes, funny stories, tall tales and juicy gossips tucked into her back pocket ready to whip out and put on display with no concern as for when, where or the appropriateness of the situation. Whether she was trying to give Peter Kay a run for his money, bumbling round her bungalow or leaving expletive strewn messages on the answering machine I would have defied anybody not to laugh.
Some other quirky memories that spring to mind:
How my Nan’s bungalow was always full of pigs, and no I’m not being rude. You see my Nanna couldn’t be obsessed with cats or dogs like any other normal old lady would have been. Oh no. My Nan loved pigs. So alongside photographs of her numerous grandkids her bungalow was full of stuffed pig teddies, pig ornaments and pig adorned knick-knacks. But the most treasured pig possession was the singing pig. Yes, you heard right. The singing pig, who once you pressed it’s trotter sang loudly and extensively about how love hurts. Now every time I see anything pig related my Nan springs to mind. What a legacy to leave behind eh?
And all the times my mum took my Nan to do her weekly big shop and we’d all have to sit on a bench outside Tesco’s freezing our asses off waiting for a taxi because neither of them could drive.
Or, and this is probably my favourite, the day I went to raid the biscuit tin at my Nan’s house only to find a life size poster of Westlife staring out at me from the back of her kitchen door. When asked about this my Nan said they were young, male and Irish. Enough said.
As well as the laughs and quirks she would always have the love and encouragement, the cuppas and biscuits ready. She was kind and caring and an excellent listener. She was so proud when my sister and me went to university. But I regret massively not making the time to visit like I should have once I lived away from home and was busy with uni life.
Now I’d give anything to have one more day to read a book with her, play dominos or look at old photographs and have her explain about days gone by.
There are so many questions that I wish I’d asked my Nan but never did. I wish I’d asked about who she was before she was a mother and a grandmother. Because once upon a while ago, although it’s hard for me to imagine, she was a twenty-two year old young woman just like I am today. I want to know, in her own words what life was like back then, about the choices she made, what she thought of it all. I guess I’ll have to save those questions for another day.
All that’s left to do is say thank you Nan. Because I didn’t say it when I should have. On this day three years ago just before you left us all in search of your next great adventure I should have whispered thank you, not goodbye. So thanks for the memories and thanks for the laughter. But most of all thanks for being you. Because of you on a day where I should be sad I cant help laughing at loud instead at all the silly memories. So instead of goodbye, tara for now.
I love you. And I miss you, but the thing about missing someone is; it might be one day further away from the last time you saw them, but one day closer to the next time you will. So in preparation for that someday make sure you have the biscuits ready. But in the mean time all I can, and will say is, wherever you are I hope the sunshine is warm, the shamrocks are green, the laughter is loud and the pigs and Irish boybands are plentiful!