Why are Grandparents special?
My Granny is one of the most important people in my life. She is 97 and is truly amazing. Unfortunately, she was rushed to hospital before Christmas with pneumonia and whilst she bounced back from this (and loved all the attention from the student doctors who came to visit her as most of them hadn't seen someone so old!) it did make me reflect on how much she means to me and what I have learnt from her over the years.
I started to write a list of all the things that she has taught me and realised I could probably write a book on the subject so have decided to mention a few of my favourites!
I'm very fortunate that I don't need to switch on the History Channel in our house, for most things, I can just drive to my Gran's house and ask her. She was invaluable recently when my son was learning about WW2 at school - we were questioning her constantly and learning so much e.g. To this day she still wears Max Factor lipstick because that's what the "American Boys" brought over during the war! She was given raisins to eat to help her sight as she was working in tunnels deep underground in the South of England, she had less than a week to prepare for her wedding after she received a telegram from my Grandad saying he was coming home and they should get married and so the fascinating stories go on!
She has been great at teaching us, and now our children, games that I don't think we would have heard of without her invaluable knowledge - New Market, Whisk and the popular Bagatelle Board Game that is nearly 100 years old and still being enjoyed at every visit. However don't be fooled, my Gran could be strict! Growing up there was no cheating allowed, everyone had to take turns properly and it didn't matter if you were the youngest - you would not automatically win! In fact I am now exactly the same with my children.
My Gran is always calm. I think that she has lived long enough now not to get upset or stressed over the little things.It is amazing how a cup of her tea and a chat can make everything better. I recently gave her one of my personalised teapots but she loved it so much she refuses to use it - not what I had anticipated but never mind.
As I approach the big 40, I think I have learnt from my Gran that age is nothing to fear. You can still have fun and live life to the full at any age. Unfortunately over the years my Gran has had to find inner strength. My Grandad died nearly 30 years ago and whilst to this day I know she still misses him terribly, she created a new life for herself - going on holidays, meetings friends and spending quality time with the family. However each Christmas she now receives fewer Christmas cards due to her friends that are no longer with us but she will always smile and remind us "Enjoy Life. Appreciate every moment!"
Since writing this original blog, my amazing Granny died. Thankfully she "popped her clogs" just as she wanted, peacefully in her sleep. Aged 98. Whilst we all miss her enormously, she will never be forgotten. To anyone that is lucky enough to still have their Grandparents, cherish every moment with them.