Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Dear Nan

Dear Nan,

When I was little you sneaked me sweets when Mum told you not to.
At school you put my scribbled pictures on the fridge.
You framed my terrible school photos and put them in pride of place, even when I complained that they were Uuuuuuuuuuugly.
When we came for holidays you were always out at the driveway by the time we got out of the car. Always so excited to see us again, no playing cool for you!
You used to hold me on your lap and whisper that I was your favourite, and I know you did it for all us grandkids. We love you for it.
When I became a stroppy teen you loved me anyway.
You made cocktail shaker jokes when you were diagnosed with Parkinson’s, and taught me bravery.
You came and saw my shows, good and bad, and always clapped the loudest and cheered the longest.
You listened to me bitching about my Mother, and told me although Mum didn’t ‘get me’ I still needed to respect her.
When your health went downhill, you told me you would be fine. And you were.
Whenever I succeeded at anything I called you first to tell you the news, and you were so excited.
When I didn’t, you were just as proud and boasted about my less obvious talents.
When I was at uni and I failed a paper, I spent a long time hiding it from you, so as not to disappoint. When you finally found out your response was “well that is ridiculous – they must have made it far too difficult.”
When my grandad died, we grieved together and you explained how it would be cruel to keep him with us longer.
When I met a man, you respectfully let them into the family, and when I broke up with them you whispered that you knew he wasn’t good enough for me.
When I met this man, you whispered that he might be.
When you got sick again, you tried to see the positives, and enjoy the good times, and showed me that just because life is dramatic, you don’t have to make it a drama
At all times you have been on my side, by my side.

It seems greedy after a lifetime of love to ask for more.
But can you just stick around a little longer?

I want you to be here when I get back from overseas next week.

I want you at my wedding, to help me get dressed, and nag me about putting on weight like usual.
I want you to tell me my first baby is beautiful – even if they have hair like mine.
I want you to see my brother and sister find their loves.

I want you to be here.


  1. Lovely, touching post. Your Nan sounds great.

  2. Hugs. You're making my throat all tight...

  3. Your nan sounds awesome - now my eyes are leaking.


  4. I've enjoyed your blog for a while now. Wandered over from Andrew's place (What about free will?) a few weeks back. (At least I think that's how I found you.)

    I envy you your relationship with your grandmother.

    For reasons of geography (mostly) and grandparent-parent friction, I was never close to any of my grandparents. They’re all gone now, anyway.

    And my childrens’ grandparents may as well be.

    Their mother’s parents are divorced and remarried, more than once in one case.

    Maternal grandfather is an over-macho, chauvinist, alcoholic asshole who values money over people, whom he places in one of two categories: a means to more money or an obstacle in the way of more money. He’s married to a codependent, enabling shithead of a woman who never really got out of the school-age mean-girl mentality.

    Maternal grandmother is, on the surface, syrupy sweet. But underneath it all (thanks to abusive childhood trauma), she is bat-shit crazy and terrifyingly, explosively angry. She lives hundreds of miles away and is married to a man who is either a saint or a serial killer, I can’t be sure. Also, she clearly and obviously favors her other daughter and granddaughter – but refuses to admit it, even to herself, despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary.

    My parents live several hours away geographically, and worlds away emotionally. I don’t know why or even when that last part happened. I fear it’s my fault, but I don’t know how, and even if so, I have no idea how to fix it. If I bring it up (or any other potentially controversial topic), they bat their eyes and “have no idea what you’re talking about.” Whatever.

    And all of this pisses me off not because of the pain it gives me, but because my kids will continue my legacy and miss out on that priceless relationship that can only happen between a grandparent and a grandchild.

    But I know one thing: One day, assuming I don’t get hit by a bus, succumb to a disease or otherwise meet some untimely demise, I will be that grandparent for my grand kids. And I’ll break that fucking chain of unrealized love if it takes everything I have to give.

    I'm sure you count yourself very lucky, but I wonder if you really know just how lucky you are. I doubt it. How could you?

  5. wow, so beautifully written, I miss my grandma so much she died 7 years ago this year on my birthday... tears are rolling down my face as I read this... your Nan sounds as wonderful as my one

  6. Your nan sounds lovely. I really miss mine.


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