Challenge 14: Living in the past

The Challenge this week over at Blog This is: If you could choose a day, a week, a moment in time to re-live – what would it be?

There are many things in our lives we wish we could do differently, things that could have or should have been said (or not), regrets, mistakes and so forth…

There’s a quote by L M Montgomery (yes of Anne of Green Gables fame!) that I love: “We should regret our mistakes and learn from them, but never carry them forward into the future with us.” And that is how I try to live my life, I know I more often than not don’t succeed but the sentiment and thought is there. I try hard to learn from my mistakes and not repeat them where I can, I have definitely grown up in the last few years but I definitely have much more to do in my life… it’s a life-long work in progress 😉

If I had to choose one single thing, it would be to spend more time with my Grandma who died in 2005 at the ripe old age of 90.

Grandma & IBy the time I was born, Grandma was already in her sixties. Due to the war, she didn’t even have her first child (Mum) until she was 38 and she went on to have two more – my aunt and uncle. My Dad being in the Navy, was more often than not at sea when I was little. Mum was at home attempting to juggle myself with learning disabilities, my sister as a demanding toddler and when I was in Kindergarten, my twin brothers were born. Talk about chaotic!

Grandma was the one who stepped in along with Mum’s sister, Anne, and helped out with we kids. Grandma picked me up from school, took me home with her to give Mum a break, took myself and my sister on outings wherever she went. My early childhood memories blur between my Grandma, Mum and Anne, they were all always there. Our usual afternoon ritual when I was in infants school, was to pick me up, then go to collect my sister from pre-school a block or so away, then go visit my Great-Great Aunt Hilda in the nursing home adjacent. It was Grandma who taught us our prayers, how to (attempt) cook, to crochet clothes for our dolls and a million other things.

She rarely had a cruel word for us and never raised her hand (holding the infamous wooden spoon) unless we absolutely deserved it, which we invariably did… we were little ratbags as kids at times. I remember sneaking up on her one time on a dare from my little sister whilst she was cooking at the bench and went boo, she of course jumped, wooden spoon made contact with me, it went snap and we went zooming off out the back door and up the willow tree which dominated her backyard. In later years, she let slip she had a good laugh before composing herself and heading out to give us a good tongue lashing.

Grandma's 90th birthdayAs we got older, our own lives consumed us and whilst our love for Grandma never changed, we didn’t always get around to visiting her as we should. In her final years, she experienced dimensia, and I remember distinctly sitting with her in emergency after yet another fall, I think this one was the getting up at 2-3am to make jam – God knows why – and she had a fall. I’d worked a full night shift and was dead tired, but it was Grandma. So I spent the day with her and we ended up watching “Brides of Christ” on my laptop. Despite how vulnerable she was and the stark surroundings, she appreciated that I had been able to be there with her. I am glad I was able to do things like that where possible but it still doesn’t stop me wishing I’d had more time or not been so busy with my own life to make the time.

But I am grateful for the time I did have, all we kids are fortunate to have strong and wonderful memories of her and she got to see all of us grow to adults and become something. She was well loved and loved all of us unconditionally. No matter that she has passed on, she is still present in our lives in our thoughts and actions.

Grandma would have been 95 last week. I wish she was still here.

1 comment

That is such a beautiful tribute! I’ll always miss my Grandma also, even though it was her time, there will also be a Ruth sized hole in my life.

PS – sounds like you were an awesome granddaughter too!

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