There is so much I want to tell you about these past few weeks, but I’m finding it hard to find the words, how to begin, what I should and shouldn’t put, and of course more importantly how to end. If you were here besides me, you’d say something like
“Do you want me to tell you what I really think?”
So I’m going to start from the beginning and work my way up.
Last month I told you that I met Brenda from September Woman, and that we’d discussed writing a piece for her readers, and seeing as I always saw you as a September Woman yourself I’ve decided to send them this one. You were never one for sitting around, always busy doing things for other people like dog sitting, helping the scheme coordinator with the lunches, cleaning obsessively, and never once forgetting about Sherry ‘O’ Clock, you may have retired but you never let that stop you, doting on your Grandchildren, especially my Wife Emma, who without fail would call you every evening just to say hello, and then there’s me letting me adopt you as my Nan after my own died so very long ago.
I’ll never forget our games of canasta, and thank you for always making sure we played at least one game whenever you came to visit us or we visited you, if I recall you won the last one by a few points, I’m looking forward to our rematch.
You will be glad to know that my business DE Craft Show is now up and running, and I’ve spoken to your niece about her artwork, she said she will write a piece for my magazine when I launch it later on in the year, which is great. That competition I briefly told you about is also live now – Win ‘Ronny’ the World Cup Gear Bot for the best World Cup photograph of you (or you and your friends) on Twitter. I know Twitter and Facebook aren’t really your kind of think, it took you long enough to work out how to use your mobile, but like me if you can make calls and text that’s all that really matters, and besides you were more into the creative side of things such as painting, making cards and writing poems, again something we have in common.
I told you my Mum offered to let you stay at her house for a few weeks when you could craft until the cows came home, and my Granddad always enjoyed your company, can you believe he is getting on for 88 now? He still gets up every morning cleans his flat, washes and dresses himself, and goes out for milk and his paper, like you I could sum him up in two words ‘Bloody (sorry) Brilliant!
If I could take anything from knowing you both it would be that life is there to be enjoyed, as you never know when the ride will be over, even with diabetes it was a case of “If I can’t drink or have chocolate then kill me now” in his case, and cigarettes instead of chocolate in yours, and you are right, as long as things are in moderation you shouldn’t have to give up on the things you love if they make you happy, which is the most important thing.
I’ll also taken on board your take on love, every letter and every card you would end with “Remember to love each other as nothing else matters”, and you’re right, I love my Wife so very much and want to be able to express it every day in the things I do for her, from household jobs to saying it to her every day.
I understand now the importance of the values of Brenda’s September Woman (and Man), it’s not a case of growing old and finding things to do, it’s more continuing doing what you love, and exploring the World like we always wanted to when we were young children.
It’s through all of this that the phone call I received last week about your passing is still like a dream, although I was there at your funeral, one hand clutching the wooden pew, and my other tightly holding your Brother’s hand to stop him from breaking down.
You didn’t give us any warning, but it is like my Wife says, your Husband had waited so long for you, that he couldn’t wait any longer, and in a strange way I’m happy, you always said you’ve had a great life and your kindness and effect on all the lives you touched was evident at the wake. Don’t worry there weren’t any hymns, as you were right nobody really wanted to sing, and although we all tried not to there were still a few tears.
It’s been less than a week since we said goodbye, and as much as it is hurting to write these words, I’m remembering all the great memories, like when you rang me last month to sing me happy birthday the day after my birthday, laughing for getting it wrong and making a special note on the calendar so not to forget next year, and the last time we saw each other when I almost got stuck on the train because I waited to make sure you were sat in your seat before I left you.
It is through these memories and your outlook that when I become a September Man I’ll still be creating and exploring the unknown, with the knowledge that it is better to regret what I have done than the things I didn’t, and I urge anyone who reads this in the future to do the same.
See Nan, you’re not here, and you’re still impacting the lives and hearts of others.
I love you Nan, thank you for being, well you.
Picture taken February 3rd 2013
Sandra Pat (Nee Clarke) Blamire (Bickerton) Feb 1943 – June 2014