My grandma is sadly very sick at the moment and we all think it is unlikely that she is going to get better. Being far away from home, waiting every day for news about her condition and unable to see her is really getting me down. She’s not in a position to be able to speak to me on the phone so I am really stuck over here. Because of this, and because I really don’t want to only write blogs about people when they are dead, I’m writing one now.
Many people know that I love my grandma so very much. She and my grandad had a lot of involvement in my childhood and they used to pick me up from school and look after me frequently. My grandma is exactly what you want in a grandparent, she adores me and she always has. She used to take me to Woolworths (flashback) and let me buy a huge bag of pick n mix. She used to buy me random presents even when I was a teenager. I remember going shopping with her when I was at university and she bought me a woolen duffel cardigan for the winter, which I had for years. Of course she is overly generous and I am spoilt. Any opportunity she will slip me cash “for petrol”, any opportunity she will try to help me out with anything.
I love this photo because I’m clearly being attention seeking and weird and my grandma is like “Oh you’re so great!” Also I’m dressed like a child from an Enid Blyton novel, thanks mum.
My childhood memories of my grandma are vast, it would be impossible to write it all down. I remember my grandparents picking me up from school and they always used to give me a polo mint in the car on the way back to their house. My sister would “read” a book when she actually couldn’t read and my grandma would tell me to just pretend she was making sense. At their house I remember a time when my sister “wrote” a book which was just a load of Os in lines, and my grandma would tell me my sister just wanted to be like me because I’m such a great writer and she looks up to me (hehehe Imogen). I loved that house, which sadly my grandma no longer lives in since my grandad passed away, but I always associate her with that house. We used to sit in the extension room, which was basically a room for my sister and I to watch tv in, and it also had a spare freezer in it for all the extra food that grandparents insisted on stashing. My favourite meal that my grandma made was sausages, fried potatoes and baked beans followed by an apple with the skin peeled off and a chocolate mousse. There would always be more food. There’s always ginger biscuits. My grandma is queen of “elevenses” which I feel people don’t appreciate enough anymore. This is just where you drink tea and eat biscuits at 11am. She uses a teapot which I admire in a person.
My grandma taught me how to skip with a washing line, she taught me how to make bread and let me mould the bread into the shape of snails which apparently was important to me. She taught me how to play a lot of card games. Her and my grandad involved me in the newspaper crossword even though I had no clue. She let my sister and I pick at all her plants and fruit trees so that we could make pretend food. She let us play in her bird bath with our toy animals. My grandparents loved birds and they really wanted birds in their garden so this was pretty nice of her.
Here’s another classic. Strong dress design there mother.
And then there’s this one where I’m like “Come on we are reading no time for photos” in my huge 90s owl glasses that only became fashionable recently and definitely weren’t then. Also they had Garfield on the side and I’ve never ever cared about that cat. Fab knitwear though but confusing about the shorts and winter jumper combo.
My grandma had this sheep wool rug in front of the fire that my sister and I would fight to lie on. She had a million and one buttons in a box that my sister and I would fight over who had claim over which ones. I remember when we started betting them in card games. That was intense.
When I was older my grandma would let me drink wine at lunch time. She told me various (sometimes scarring) things about sex. She talked about her travels a lot and when they were able her and my grandad did a lot of holidaying, which obviously I am a fan of. She’s been to many countries, seen a lot of things and she always used to bring me back presents from her trips.
My grandma began to lose her sight probably way over ten years ago now and she hasn’t really been able to see for a long time. However she still seems to be able to see enough to comment on my hairstyles/ colours or my fashion! She still likes to ask me what bra size I am because she’s concerned I never grew boobs. She also thinks I’m a reincarnation of her mother who died just before I was born. Take from that whatever you want haha.
I’ve heard the story of how my grandparents met so so so many times. I’m lucky to have heard a lot about my grandma’s upbringing and her life before I was born. Even though the stories are repetitive I’m grateful for that now because I know them by heart. My grandma is not a perfect person as no one ever is, but honestly to me and in her relationship with me, she absolutely is.
When my grandad passed away in 2012 my grandma did change and she’s never been the same since. A lot of her laughter and her personality disappeared with grief and for the past few years she has at times been quite difficult to be around. She can be bitter, she has no filter, she doesn’t really appreciate the people she has around her but this is a side to her that is still never directed at me. When it was January she cried on the phone to me about how worried and how sad she was about what had happened. I know how much she cares about me and asks after me and how happy she is to see me when I am back. It is really difficult for me to not be able to visit her at the moment.
I think, realistically, if it is my grandma’s time she will be content with that. She wants to be with my grandad and if that is what she believes will happen next then that’s comforting. She doesn’t really have the motivation to fight back. It’s more a selfish desire of my own that I really, really want her to be okay. I’m not feeling the alternative.
So, if by some miracle my grandma gets better and I can see her at Christmas I will tell her all of this myself. If she doesn’t, at least I wrote it down.
Love to my mum who I know finds this exhausting, stressful and draining. See you in 2 days 💛