Today marks what would have been your 81st birthday. Sadly you passed away unexpectedly 3 years ago this coming May. You are greatly missed by all your children and grandchildren. Not a day that goes past when I don’t think of you.
You were not always a stereotypical cuddly soft grandma. At times you could be quite harsh and you were often quite outspoken in your thoughts, lacking tact at times. Having said that you were always there for me whenever I needed you. We had a close relationship born mostly out of our shared interests in old films and film stars, baking, reading and science. Sadly I was never green fingered like you at all, and instead took after mum in my uncanny ability to kill any plant in my care!
It was incredibly hard when you died, as it was so unexpected. Yes you had been briefly unwell but not seriously ill and had been improving and feeling much better in your final days. As difficult as it was not to get to prepare ourselves or get to say goodbye beforehand, I take solace in the fact that you were happy and your sudden passing meant you weren’t in pain and didn’t suffer.
When I think of you I mostly don’t think about you dying, I think of all the happy times we had together. As a young child I have fond memories of time spent in your beautiful garden, running around behind you with my mini wheelbarrow, bossing my younger brother and cousins around. Hours passed at your kitchen table chatting away and making bread or cakes, or peeling potatoes together with radio 4 blaring our loudly in the background (you were a bit deaf!). Day trips on the train to London and Oxford to see the sights! My first ever cinema experience, I was 9 and we went to see Jurassic park in Salisbury. I was petrified and spent most of the film with my hand over my eyes, as did you! I don’t think it was quite what you had expected it to be! Lol. Many family meals and christmases together, we all remember the goulash incident with an accidental overuse of paprika!
It’s funny all the little things you remember about a person, that don’t really mean anything in isolation but together they make up who you are. You always had tictacs in your handbag, you insisted on tipping everyone including taxi drivers, you always brought the mini cans of coke (for the grandchildren) never regular cans or bottles (I have no idea why though? Lol), there was nearly always washing up on the side in the kitchen, you always left the doors unlocked, your favourite chocolates were black magic, your love of cheese and wine and that you were amazing at answering the questions on eggheads and definitely should have entered!
You were very supportive of my ambition to become a doctor and helped me tremendously (along with the rest of my family) throughout my time at medical school. Without you I would not training to be a GP today. I don’t know if I ever truly got to thank you for this, I just hope that you knew how much I appreciated all your support and encouragement.
I just wanted to say that you were a wonderful Grandma, and I miss you dearly. I’m very sad that you never got to see me get married, or that you will never meet your great grandchildren, I know you would have loved that and so would they. I just have to focus on all the wonderful memories that we shared over the years. Another thing we shared was our Atheism. I’d like to believe that you are looking down on all of us and smiling; but I can’t. This makes me feel quite sad.
I love you.
Happy Birthday. Rest in peace my lovely Grandma (or Bongin as you were affectionately named by me for some strange reason for many years!)
Your loving granddaughter