On March 15th my world changed forever. I got the call I never wanted to get, my nan was gone. Over the past 5 months, we knew her disease was getting worse and she was running out of time. We weren’t yet ready for that day to come. So, in a way that she would have loved, this is my goodbye letter.
She was one of my biggest supporters and ALWAYS reposted my blog posts for her Facebook, so there is nowhere else I could think of posting this but here.
If you were lucky enough to know my nan, you would know that she was the most patient, kind, and most forgiving woman you would ever meet. She was one of the biggest parts of my life, from an early age. I always tried to test boundaries with her, but this strong Irish woman would never get mad. I would call her crying and screaming if my mom and I had an argument and she would always talk me down to see both sides.
When I was 5 she taught me how to ride my bike on the quay in New Westminster. I was terrified for her to let go but she assured me that I would be fine. About 2 seconds after she let go of the bike, I rode right into a rose bush and couldn’t move. She took me back to her place and I sat for what felt like an eternity while she took out every thorn that got stuck.
She was a saint. She took care of me when I got lice… multiple times, combing through my hair constantly. She covered me in calamine lotion when I got the chicken pox and wouldn’t stop scratching. She was there for nearly every milestone.
Every Sunday after a sleepover, and before she would have to drag me to church, her and I would enjoy breakfast in bed prepared by my grandad. It would always include breakfast sausage, bacon, scrambled eggs (for me only since she hated eggs), fried onion, toast and fresh orange juice. It’s a meal I still have to this day that always makes me think of her.
She was patient when I would spend hours in the pool putting on shows as Baby Spice, of course, or going through her closet to play dress up while she made one of our favourite meals for dinner (lamb chops or chicken drumsticks).
We spent a lot of time together on Mayne Island, my home away from home. She would wear her hat with the nanny flower and we would go crab hunting or search for sea glass. We would picnic and look for deer, counting each one we saw the entire trip.
She sparked my love of shopping (and always getting what I wanted) by taking me on a shopping spree for every report card. She would shop with me for HOURS at one mall, then drive to the next…. and then the next.
When I was 19, I moved to England for a semester abroad. She had to fly over to make sure I came home. She visited friends and family in England before we took a trip over to Ireland together. We started in Belfast then took the train down to Dunmore – making a few stops along the way. I was able to see the house she grew up in, meet her nanny and her friends and see what her life was like before Canada. We ended our trip in Dublin before we headed back. It was her last time in her home country and I am so honored that it was a trip with me.
I will miss being able to call her and gossip about anything, show up for our lunch dates, have a picnic in bed and just be with her. She would always make me laugh or tell me off for making my husband Chris do everything for us. In the end she would bypass asking me entirely and just ask him.
I could write a novel out of our memories, but some will stay just our memories. This is not goodbye forever, just see you later. I love you so much nanny and I will miss you with all of my heart.