Tomorrow I am taking my youngest son to meet his Great Grandmother for the first, and last, time. She won’t know who he is, or who I am, and won’t remember that we’ve been there at all. But I want her to see him all the same. And I want to see her to say goodbye. Not everyone understands this…we are not a terribly close family…but before she leaves us, which won’t be long, I need to make that connection across the generations.
Nana is, and always has been, a fiercely independent lady. The sort of Gran that bought me things just to piss my mother off (she’s my Dad’s mother!), who flew down the sand dunes near her home in a race to the sea and who wasn’t afraid fly caution to the wind when it came to childcare. She let me build barbecues on the beach and cook her dinner when I was 11 or 12; she told me stories of giants and father Christmas living in the woods when I was much younger and it is with her that I remember tobogganing and endlessly playing on the slot machines. There are too many memories for here and now.
She used to buy me shandies in the pub way before I was old enough to drink and was a rubbish cook.
I loved how she just accepted me for me with no expectations. I entered my own worlds when I stayed with her and she would never bother me.
My Dad and others don’t really rate her terribly highly as a mother, but I think she was the best sort of gran, although I was never able to share any problems or worries…we just had fun.
And my parents are very different.
I hope I have a little of Nana’s spirit in me.
And I want my sons to know about her.
So although she won’t be bothered whether we come or not, I want to say ‘thank you’ and I want a picture of her with Harry (I already have one of her and Toby)so that one day, when they ask who she is, I can tell both my boys about the times we shared when I was a girl.