I’ve been visiting my Nana’s wee hoosie in Scotland alone for years. I used to take a job for a few months, save airfare and travel up in the holidays. My Nana has always meant the world to me. She always tells me that I am like the daughter she never had even though she has two. They just don’t all see eye to eye and long story short it hurts my Nana to think about it.
Throughout everything, since I was 7 Nana has been my best friend when I really needed it.
She has called me almost daily since the day I first called her to chat when I was 11. Sometimes they are serious, sometimes they aren’t. The fact is that I can share my world with this lady who is 800 miles away and I feel closer to her than my Mum. My Nana, like my children, is my heartbeat.
When I found out I was pregnant I called her immediately. She said these words to me and they are the ones I tell myself and others (you may have heard this quote):
Babies bring their own love
That was what she said to me when I told her that I am not sure how to love a second child. And just like that it was true. When I told her I was going to home school my Eldest daughter she and my Granda gathered a pile of 25 books, posters, stationary and more to send down to help. That got us through my first meeting with the Educational Welfare Officers. That was 4 years ago and they still send them, even now. Monthly she sends each girl a little note. Just something small so they always know she is thinking of them. Even if they haven’t met. She has been too poorly to travel and navigating three children on a plane is a nightmare! Last time we planned to go up life got in the way and we had to cancel the day we booked.
I keep a scrapbook of each note she sends, so they will always have something to look back on and so will I.
On the phone she tells me how much Ivy has my smile, how Poppy is growing into a stunning girl and is an extraordinary carbon copy of her great-great grandmother on my Granda’s side, and how Lily’s hair is so much like my own & proud of them she is. Each little milestone they reach I know my Nana is there cheering them on and will be for as long as possible.
She hasn’t had it easy, last year her gallbladder ruptured and over the space of 5 days was poisoning her. Like a soldier she just carried on! The doctors told us that within a day from when it was found she would have died. I spent that night crying at the thought. While I was living in Holland she was poorly, heading to hospital and my Mum had fallen out with her. I flew at 6am the following day to Birmingham, got to Wolverhampton then had a 12 hour car journey up to see my Nana. It was exhausting but you can’t put a price, physical or fiscal on the love I hold for this slightly dotty woman. Hip replacement, shoulder replacement and let’s be honest she probably had a bit of a brain replacement (she is the daftest person I know) and is still carrying on like nothing happened. She is the smallest (tiniest) and strongest woman I know. The reason that is so wonderful to say is because she never thinks she is. She is the type of person that orders 4 cardigans from somewhere like Chums, sends 3 back and orders four more – just to see. Her wardrobe is brimming with vintage goodies that I’ve long admired. Don’ grandparents have the BEST clothing?
You are amazing though Nana.
My Nana is one in a million and then some.
So, my dear Nana. This post is for you. Thank you for all the times you’ve helped me work through problems, the times I’ve broken my heart down the phone and you knew you could do nothing but listen, the times I called you with exciting news and you always ask if you need to sit down, the times the toddlers have called you and babbled for longer than you’d like. You are welcome for times I have done the same for you. No matter what happens, Dear Nana the girls will always know you, through me and you will have always been the most inspirational woman I have ever known.
I love you, I love you in a way that those words don’t do it justice, if I can love you from the very soul of me, the very core of my being then that is how much and how deeply I care for you. The day you go (which is a strange running joke), the safest space in my life will be gone, but I will know the kind of mother I want to be for my girls and the grandmother I will be for the next generation.