Dear Nanna R. As I cleaned our home this past week there were so many little reminders of you. My fun fruit bowl and other ornaments you made for me in ceramics needed dusting, I found cards with your writing on it and this photo just popped up in my Google Drive while I was doing some work. I don’t wish you had lived longer as your life was full and your body was worn out. We miss you and shed little tears of love when we talk about you. You really were a great Nanna x
I was locking up tonight after doing RSA training. I had everything packed and grabbed my take home pile and, you guessed it, checked my phone. 5 minutes before was a missed call and message from Nanna.
Instead of going straight home I locked myself in and rang her back.
Best decision ever! We talked for 20 minutes about all sorts of stuff. My favourite topic of conversation being the two occasions Nanna got a bit tipsy.
The first story was back when it was 10 o’clock closing and they were at a Lounge bar for a fire brigade do. Before 10pm, as was the norm, everyone stockpiled their drinks. Nan had been drinking squash, but the friend who went to the bar got her gin squash, assuming this was what she’d been drinking all night. When Nan and Pa finally left at 2am she had finished all three stockpiled drinks, not tasting the gin. She was a little unsteady on her feet, as was Pa. They held each other up and made it home safely.
The second story was after golf. They’d won because of Nan (I hope I got this right Nan?) The team persuaded Nanna to have a sherry to celebrate. Before she knew it one of the ladies had grabbed Nan’s hand and pulled her up onto the tables as they were dancing the night away Nan looked over and saw <forgotten his first name> Plum looking over the bar. She’d been caught by a neighbour.
Unfortunately we also talked about grief and sadness. Last week Pa would have turned 90, my uncle has lost a best mate to cancer and one of my best friends lost her sister who had also battled the big C. Pa and her dad were first cousins. Life can be tough when the inevitable happens.
The older I get the more I cherish every single conversation I share with both of my grandmothers. I love that Nan never felt the need to drink to have a good time. She is fun and full of life with a cheeky sense of humour without it.
I wouldn’t even need to teach RSA if the world was full of Nan.
Today I slipped into another birthday with not much fuss. I had the usual text messages, phone calls and posts on my facebook wall.
I went to Nanna’s for morning tea, as per a normal Monday, on the way to my three year old’s swimming lesson. Now here is the part I have to share.
Not long before we are about to leave, a friend of Nan’s pops in. Nan introduces me as her granddaughter, Dad’s daughter (Dad is with me), I introduce master three. They sit and chat, whilst Aunty and I chat aside. The friend then turns, looks and looks away. She does it again, but this time asks whom this child belongs to. Nan replies that he belongs to me, to which she says to me, I thought you could have been his grandmother. Yes I could have easily been, turning 42 today, but I had him at 38. Friend looks at Nan in disbelief. I am only slightly insulted. I get it. Times are different. Nan was 43 when I came into the world. I already had one older cousin. Care?
The only thing I cared about was her attitude. This “lady” just wouldn’t accept it. She kept throwing me sideways glances, summing me up. I felt judged in a world where I am almost normal. In fact according to the Australian Institute of Family Studies Women who become mothers do so typically at age 25 to 34 years. I was 35 when I had number 1, completely bloody normal.
So pooh to you lady. This hot older mum is not going to carry around your judgement.
Sit out the front of a school someday and check out what is normal. Nothing is normal. I missed the early pregnancy bus by a bit of good management, but mostly by luck.
There were many years that having kids scared the shit out of me, I was flat out looking after myself. So each to there own, whether 15 or 45, have kids when it suits you my sisters, enjoy them and if some days you feel like you should be their Nanna, have a little nap, then get on with the dress ups, picnics, play doh and blocks.
This post was originally written in October 2014, I found it just sitting in my drafts and decided to share.