My dear grandmother passed away last week. She was 95.
She made us clothes, toys, biscuits, birthday cakes, crocheted blankets and ceramic ornaments I now treasure. We would stay with her almost every school holiday for at least a week; she taught us dirty nursery rhymes as we curled up on her bed of a morning and then sent us back to my non-swearing Catholic mother.
She was cheeky, loved to gossip and gave my Pop a hard time over most things. Every morning, as she was washing the dishes, he would walk up behind her and enfold her in a cuddle which would last for what seemed forever before she poked him in the ribs and said “Get away you old bugger.”
She loved craft, flowers, gardening, birds, her dog Sammy, cooking, her husband, her children, grandchildren, great grandchildren and great great grandchildren. She lived in her little pink house, the one she bought in the early 1940s when her husband was away at war, for over sixty years.
She taught me about bush cooking (just keep throwing things into the mix until it tastes good), told about life when you really DID have to walk miles to school with no shoes on and made us laugh and laugh and laugh. It was not unusual to pop in and find her sitting at the kitchen table, just chillin’ to Kevin Bloody Wilson.
She stopped recognising me completely in 2012. She stopped confusing me with my mother shortly after and I simply became someone who happened to stop by her bed with “lovely”small children and asked stupid question about how she was feeling.
After her funeral (during which Sussie asked at top volume where the oven was and the Boetman decided to blow raspberries on his arm to the Paw Patrol theme) my husband asked what I remembered most about her. What I recall best about my Nana was a feeling. A feeling of being enveloped by her soft arms and feeling so comforted that all my seemingly big problems melted away.
Her name was Evelyn, my Nana.