My childhood was good. Yes there was times I thought I was the unluckiest girl in the world (what 15 year old doesn’t?) and as a teenager I cursed my parents for letting me choose my own secondary school (my 11 year old self picked an ALL girls school with the strictest Headteacher). Plus my parents broke up before I hit the teenage years which altered my idea of happy ever after. But- it was still a really really good childhood.
And four of the reasons why it was so good, were my grandparents. I may have had to study instead of flirting with boys in my class, but I grew up right around the corner from both sets of grandparents and had such great relationships with each of them. They have shaped who I am today and I am so thankful I got to love them earth side for as long as I did.
Yet that old phrase ‘time heals all wounds’ is a tricky one. Yes with anything- loss, heartbreak, disappointment, family break ups, time of course plays a massive part in helping. But the wounds never heal completely do they? It doesn’t matter if you have lost someone you love a year ago, or twenty years ago. The wound of lost time and unwritten memories will always be there. A constant heartache I have, is three of my Grandparents never got to meet Noah. Oh boy. They would have loved him! And they definitely each would have had wise words of wisdom for this wild journey of parenting that I’m now on. That is why, the time Noah gets to spend with my Gramps Owens, fills me with absolute joy.
Despite only my Gramps Owens being physically with us- each grandparent is still present in my daily life. This is evident in parts of my personality:
- I love to engage in a good debate and those closest to me would say I get a little too passionate about certain topics (that’s putting it lightly!) but this has undoubtedly come from my Gramps Owens. Most days after school, I would head to his and we would sit and debate for hours (often having to convince my Gran that it was a discussion and not an argument!).
- I believe in the power of pray and part of this was inspired by my Gran Shilliday. Her faith was so unwavering and its resilience took my breath away at times. She always told me two things- try not to make decisions that will disappoint your parents but when/if you do, it will always be okay. Because their love for you is unconditional. And always pray- when your thankful, worried, stressed, excited….pray. And I do.
- I adore going out for dinner or for coffee or for lunch or for breakfast (spotting a theme here?!) but often whoever I am with, will have to remind me that I am with them and not the table 3 away from us…. I am totally obsessed with people watching! Such a guilty pleasure. And this most definitely is a trait I have inherited from my Gran Owens. She just loved to people watch. Figuring them out and watching their dynamics. Whilst many would describe this as nosy, she very smartly called it inquisitive. So I’m sticking with that description.
- A 1-2 hour nap in the afternoon is my idea of HEAVEN. Some people think it’s a waste of time, some say it makes them feel worse or that they won’t be able to sleep at night if they were to take a nap during the day. Not me, no way. Give me all the naps. Just like my Granda Shilliday. He loved a good snooze in the afternoons…could have been linked to the havoc my cousins and I made but still- Naps Solve everything no matter what age.
I also have things in my home that remind me of each of them. Things that I use or can look at, other than photos for memories. They may seem insignificant or random. Yet the sense of comfort I gain, from having objects that are really only there because they serve the purpose of reminding me of one of my grandparents- well that is priceless…
- One of my Gran Shilliday’s cups. Made from the most delicate and prettiest china (which is a mirror of her in itself). Drinking my tea or coffee from her cup some days when I am feeling a little low- well my other Gran always said most things are better after a cuppa. And sometimes, I’m able to imagine what advice she would give me if she were right there, drinking tea with me.
- Freesia hand lotion- this was a recent Christmas gift from my mum. My Gran Owens loved loved loved Freesia (at this point I will add, surrounding my sunbeams tattoo is both my Grans favourite flowers…not sure if either of them would have encouraged this decision but I’m pretty sure they would have warmed to it!). Anyways this is the best gift I have received in a while. Going into the bathroom and seeing it next to the sink, my makeup…it’s a daily hello from my Gran.
- Werther’s Originals. Can’t eat them anymore (something to do with sugar is bad for your teeth… ) but you will always find a Werther Original in my beside table. My Granda Shilliday loved them, he had an exceptional sweet tooth and no matter what time of day, you were always guaranteed to get one of Granda’s special sweets.
- I am obsessed with notebooks. So much so my husband has banned me from stationary shops (I’m half joking- but it really has got that bad). Anyways despite having 20983 other notebooks, a few months ago I HAD to get another one from Paperchase, despite only going in there for one birthday card. Why? Well because it had a picture of a cowboy on the front. And my Gramps Owens used to be an actual cowboy. No word of a lie- he told me this and I wholeheartedly believed this until I was 16. Needless to say my hubby wasn’t going to argue with that one…the notebook victory was mine. It has become my ‘blog notebook.’ And what better way to start jotting down ideas than after my cowboy Billy O says howdy.
So although nothing will ever be as good as having them here with me- and even with my Gramps Owens living thousands of miles away…I still take comfort in having them all around me in normal day to day activites. And when I need a sunbeam I don’t have to go too far because Grandparents really are one of the brightest sunbeams of all.
What are your special ways of keeping your loved ones close?