Yesterday morning, at about this time of day, my Mother died in hospital, after a 6 week stay there and after a longer illness. I do not need to tell you again how loved she was and how much she will be missed, as I wrote what she means to me on Mothers Day. And so instead, let me write about the kind of Granny that she was to Joshua and my niece:
Joshua;s face would always light up whenever he saw his Granny, he would run towards her for a hug, just like he does for me. Granny and Grandpa came over on the day he was born and she stayed with us for weeks, coming to Special Care and then helping out at home when we finally got here, she put her life on hold to take care of her daughter and new grandson. She shared in every one of his successes as he grew, no matter how small : I remember the first – and almost last time – that he had a wee in the toilet, she sent him a congratulations card as she knew how hard we had been working at toilet training. Mum wanted to know about what he was up to and was always supportive and caring of the ups and downs in his life : she came down to London on the train to visit him in Great Ormond Street after his brain surgery , she came to Christmas concerts at school and enjoyed looking around his respite provision to meet the staff that I had talked about. Given that Granny lived over two hours away, so she could not just pop round everyday, but she was fully involved in Joshua’s life as we spoke regularly on the telephone and we emailed a lot.
She gave that same caring support to her other grandchild, my niece: before she went to school, Mum and Dad were her childcare and so she spent a lot of time at their house, playing in their garden and even going on holiday with them. As she did well and school and then university, Granny was so proud of everything that she achieved and would boast about her success. She followed her career path closely, always available to offer advice if it was needed, but reluctant to interfere, and even in hospital last week, she was delighted to hear about her granddaughter’s success in her new role, and about the positive feedback that she had received from her manager. Even when Granny was not well, such as on my niece’s graduation day, Granny put her first and shared in the proud celebration, even though she was in pain at the time, but there is no way that she would have missed that occasion.
Granny showed both of her grandchildren selfless love, pride and support for the different paths that they trod in life. She has left them that legacy and they were fortunate to have had her in their life, until both were adults. I am not yet sure how we will cope without her in our lives, that is still too raw and uncertain, but I can reflect backwards, rather than looking towards our uncertain future. She would want us to be strong and brave in her absence, as she was throughout her life, and so we will try our very best to follow her lead and not to let her down .