Sunday, 1 December 2013

The Small Things - Nanny and Pa

Pulling a funny face when she
realised I was taking photo's!
My Nan is one of the greatest people I know. Growing up she made the effort to make sure her 5 children and her grandchildren were close. She would take us on big extended family holidays, have the grandchildren for sleep overs, we would bake cakes and put on shows at her house for Christmas. Wherever there was a fun activity you could guarantee my Nan would be in the middle of it all pretending to be a clown or handing out sweets from her jar with a warning of 'don't tell mum!'

My Pa died when I was just a few weeks old and my Nan has kept him alive with stories of his life and things he got up to. I know my Pa was a great man not only because he was part of our family, but because my Nan has told me so many times over. I know he was kind and thoughtful because he bought her a dressing table set when she finished decorating their bedroom, it was the wrong colour, but he was colour blind so that wasn't his fault! I know he loved spending time with his family because he would line them up on the beach and fly a kite with each one of them just because he enjoyed it. I know how much he loved the church because I know his favourite Christmas hymn, I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day. I also know he had faults, but they are usually accompanied by a funny story. I know without any doubt my Pa loved each and every one of his children and grandchildren because my Nan has kept him alive.
A nice one while my cousin does her hair

Yesterday, for the first time in a really long time, my aunts, uncles, cousins and now their partners and children were all in the same place at the same time. Being a big family there were some who couldn't make it, but it was great being with those who could. I have some amazing memories of my family and am so thankful to my Nan for being in the centre of many of those.

My Nan now has dementia, and yesterday watching her in her wheelchair with a vacant expression on her face made me sad. There were moments she would join in a conversation or smile and you knew she was there, but there were other times when she looked confused and lost. I doubt my Nan has got many more years on this earth and when she dies I'll be sad to have lost an amazing and strong woman from my life, but I know that she will be with my Pa in heaven, something that she's looking forward to! I know that families can be together forever.

I love my family so much and this week I am grateful to my Nanny and Pa for the amazing people they are and the memories they have given us. 


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