It’s been a tough couple of weeks which has culminated with my Nanna dying this morning. She had cancer and knew she didn’t have long left, so she spent the time planning her funeral and telling my Mum what things were to go to whom. That was the kind of woman she was – practical and organised.
Throughout my childhood Nanna was always there, the one with the warm hugs and special treats. We lived not far from her farm and often went there on weekends to visit. She always had freshly made jelly cakes and lamingtons, and she made the best milo on earth.
One of my earliest memories of her was when she babysat my sister and I while my parents went to the city. It was the week
that Prince Andrew and Princess Fergie were married and we watched the ceremony on her TV. She loved the royals. During that week, I was sick and she sat by my bed while I vomited into a bucket, and when I was finally up to eating, she made me red jelly.
In my teenaged years, I learnt more about Nanna. She loved watching cricket, and her favourite football team was the Eagles. I remember on weekends, especially after my grandparents retired, she would say we had to put on the TV so that my father could watch the cricket or football. Funny how she always knew the exact time and channel for the sport!
As I grew older, I enjoyed sitting with her and chatting. I loved to hear stories of what life was like for her when she was a child. She lived in the goldfields and then the central wheatbelt where there were huge distances between towns. Their house had a dirt floor and they had to take the horse and cart to the railway siding to pick up their bags of flour and rice. She’d lived a much harder life than me and it helped me to appreciate what I have.
Over the last ten months, Nanna went through chemotherapy and radiation therapy, and though she lost weight and her hair, she never lost her positive spirit.
Yesterday, she said to Mum, “Tomorrow I’m going to see Allan (her husband) again.” And like anything Nanna set out to do, she did it. Today is also the 17th anniversary of my Granddad’s death.
3 generations on my wedding day
Though I’m sad to see her go, I know she’s in a happier place. I’m going to celebrate my Nanna’s life, and her reunion with her husband of over 50 years.
I love you, Nanna. Rest in peace.