Friday, September 30, 2011

Things I know | the grandparents edition

This I children are so lucky to have grandparents...Nanny, Poppy, Granny and Papa. Their grandparents absolutely adore them and the feeling is mutual. I don't know what Andrew and I would do without the support of our parents. The kids are completely spoiled by them. I think that's every grandparents evil plan right to give them lots of sweet treats, then hand them back to the parents to deal with the aftermath...hehe. The lessons they learn from their grandparents are invaluable, and every minute they spend together is a blessing.

I don't know what it is about grandparents these days, but they seem to look and act a lot younger. I wonder if it has something to do with better fashions, or women having careers. I swear, my Granny looked old for about 40 years.

I've been thinking about my grandparents (my Dad's parents) a lot lately. I was only 5-6 when they passed away, and I can still remember them so vividly.  My Nan used to serve me cold tea that was really sweet and milky, and cold buttered toast for dunking. To this day I still prefer cold toast. I was Nanny's favourite and my sister was Poppy's girl, although I'm sure they loved us equally. They used to have Birds of Paradise planted down the side of the house and I used to think they were scary. lol. I remember watching her get dressed one day and she rolled her boobs up to put them in her bra! Pop said it was because they were fried eggs. That was very confusing at the time. hahaha.  I would have loved to have known them as a grown up. Unfortunately that wasn't to be the case. I still get sad thinking about it.  I never met my Mum's mum...she passed away when Mum was only 19. I would have liked to have known her. My grandfather remarried and I really didn't have much to do with him.

My great-grandmother passed away when I was 14. She was such a lovely woman...large and cuddly with a strong Scottish brogue. She always made you feel so loved.  I remember going to visit her in hospital the day before she died, and I will never forget the look on her face. She was the shadow of her former self and had lost a lot of weight. Her teeth were out and her hair had thinned terribly into wispy grey curls. It was as if she was a little girl again. I choose to remember her from before, when she would have a drink of scotch and run up my parents driveway (which by the way is incredibly steep)...not bad for an old lady. lol. She'd carry her handbag on her wrist and never put it down. We'd joke that she was carrying around the crown jewels. She collected crystal figurines and brass ornaments in a big glass cabinet, and towards her last days, she would give them away to anyone who would come to visit. One Christmas (I was about 11), she gave me a pair of her own underpants in Size 22. lol. I miss her and I can still feel her cuddles. My kids would have loved her.

Yesterday afternoon, Andrew's grandfather, old Poppy George, passed away after a long battle with dementia, several strokes and cancer. I loved this man and have felt like he was my own Pop for the last 15 years. Every time we'd visit, his face would light up when he'd see the kids. He was always after a cuddle...and would bribe them with smarties. lol. This photo was taken a few years ago at the grandparents of smarties in hand.

The stories Andrew, his siblings and cousins have shared with me about him over the years made me love him even more.  I loved sitting with George and having a chat. I'd always ask him how he was, and he'd always respond "every day is a bonus for me dear".

I used to think it was a funny response, but it really is a good attitude to have. Every day is a bonus. Make sure you take the time to visit your grandparents and soak in every bit of love they have to give and appreciate the stories they have to tell. Those stories will be all you have one day.

I will miss old Poppy George as much as I miss my own grandparents, but I know he is in a much better place now, and at peace.  Off to get a tissue now...

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