You’ve pretty much only known my mom and your granny Lorna as someone “old”, someone who doesn’t always make sense, someone who often can’t hear what you’re telling her, and someone who has never been able to do the typical granny-grandchild thing with you.
I don’t want to lament here about how unfair life sometimes seems, or how we “lost” an amazing woman to a brain tumour, and then the effects of radiation, brain atrophy, which is slowly and sometimes rapidly killing her cognitive and physical capacities. Granted, we still have granny, but she has lost so much of what made her awesome, sharp, funny and caring, and for that I’m sad for both of us.
I wish you knew your granny when she could talk to everyone, make them laugh, and endear everyone to her. She was that person who spoke to everyone, and as irritating as it was as a child to try and pull her away from shopkeepers, friends’ moms and strangers to get home or to the next arrangement, I realise it was a gift she had – making people laugh, and making them feel awesome.
I wish you knew your granny when her capacity to love and care exceeded anything I’ve ever known. When she used to make me the best hot Milo ever, tuck me in, and tell me she loved me, and that she would harm anyone who ever tried to hurt me. She was the type of parent who could never practise tough love with my brother who might have needed it at the time – she simply couldn’t forsake him, let him go, or stop forgiving him.
I wish you knew your granny’s sense of humour. She was always the fun parent, and when we were young, all the kids and their parents loved her for being funny, and a little different to everyone else, which sometimes felt weird when I just wanted to be the same as everyone else, but in hindsight was a gift.
I wish you knew your granny’s kindness and empathy, and her love for everything Italian (she used to drive an Alfa Romeo that kept on breaking down, even during liftscheme rides, but she remained loyal and still loved it). She had a gift for languages, and I learnt every meaningful Italian swear word while driving with her and being witness to some bad drivers.
I wish you knew your granny’s strength, both physical and emotional, for the ops, tests, falls, procedures and more ops. She seldom complained, and always stoically went through the motions.
I wish you knew your granny like I did.
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