A person that I held dear in my life passed away this week. My beloved Nan. One thing I can say straight away was that upon my Nan's passing her reach has been wide.
Life is precious, through the paths we walk down alongside our family and friends that is one truth that abides always. The people we hold dear define us through our childhood, our adult life and our later years, because without the bonds of family and love we are alone and as the saying goes - if a tree falls in a forest with no-one to hear it, did it even make a sound? Well, one lady that made an impression on all that met her, that held so many people in her heart and her in theirs was my Nan. In her lifetime she had four children, eleven grand children and twenty-one great grand children.
Losing a Grandparent is never easy but losing my Nan has left me heartbroken. The suddenness of her passing was such a shock as she was only opening the Mother's Day gifts that we had given her two weeks before and tucking into a cream tea next to me. I had a unique relationship with her, a lady integral to my upbringing, we shared weekly cuddles when I was a little girl, holidays at Butlins, sausage sandwiches, days on the beach, endless advice, sleepovers, she watched me in everything from school plays to every success I've been lucky enough to have. Over the last 16 years since my Grandad died my relationship with my Nan grew closer and closer.
I used to go out with her for coffees and take her to the doctors, and on a Monday I would take her over a roast that I had made the day before. One of my fondest memories is going on a caravan holiday with her in 2010 to Camber Sands, we couldn't stop laughing as are beds were so skinny we were scared to roll out - we're not renowned in our family for small bums so you can imagine we spent most of the night teetering on the edge!
She stood next to me and my husband so proudly at our wedding in May 2012 and was so proud of our son Hugo. He absolutely adored his Nanna and I know she adored him, he will turn 2 at the end of May and I have been showing him her picture to which he instantly smiles and says "Nanna". He saw her most weeks and would often sit on her lap to read books and watch telly. On one occasion over the summer he had great fun with wet play in her back garden dousing himself with water from her watering can.
My Nan was a beautiful and highly intelligent woman, with delicate features and a mane of black hair in her youth, knowledgable about most things and had a full, lovely life. Her and Gramps were married for 50 years, they didn't have a lot and they didn't want a lot. She was an English teacher and I know she always loved learning, evident at family quizzes every Christmas and Easter!
I know my Mum was so close to her and saw her at least twice a week so it has been very hard for her too. My heart is still so very fragile, I wish I could bring Nan back and kiss her just one last time but I know I can't. Thank you Nan for all of your help, support, love, guidance and gifts over your lifetime. I love you so very much and I know you are sleeping now so sleep tight and see you again one day.
Here are some photos of the lovely lady herself, I'm sure the cream cakes aisle in the supermarket will miss her almost as much as we do.