I’m dedicating today’s post to my dear grandma who died 6 years ago this week, though it only feels like yesterday. One of my biggest regrets was that I didn’t see her before she died – on the day I was travelling up from the South to see her she’d had her breakfast in the care home where she’d stayed for the previous 2 weeks (after a fall at home had ended up in a prolonged stay in hospital and the admission that she couldn’t manage on her own) and literally ‘fell asleep’ in a chair.

I was working full time at a publishers back then and was making the drive up north straight from work and planning to visit her the next morning. For some reason my sister rang several times during the day and I suspected that she was after a lift ‘home’ as she lived in London at the time – I even rang my mum to try to find out what my sister was getting at. So I didn’t find out about my grandmother’s death until late that night – my sister was already there having caught a train earlier in the day. Because my sister had been told she’d been able to arrange things with work and take a week off to help mum organise things. As I hadn’t been told I needed to go back to work to arrange some time off and sort out my projects, plus I wasn’t needed as my sister was there.  My anger at being ‘left out’ really affected my ability to grieve my grandma but it was just my mum’s way of coping – she didn’t want me to drive whilst upset (though driving home on the Sunday I was upset and angry).

My other regret is that she didn’t meet my son as he didn’t come along until 2 years after she died. She would have adored him and I think the feeling would have been mutual.

She was cantankerous (sp?), indiscreet, flirtatious, stubborn and she drove my mum mad. She totally indulged my sister, my cousin and me.

She also taught me how to knit. As kids we had hat and scarf sets to wear from both of my grandmothers, and cardigans and jumpers (in fact my surviving paternal grandmother had a much better skill until arthritis took the use of her hands but she didn’t have the patience with us kids).  She let me play about with wool to my hearts content and heaped praise on wonky scarves and granny squares. As my skill improved she helped me to knit outfits for my dolls. When I needed to learn how to darn a sock for my Brownie ‘Homemaker’ badge she was happy to teach me – and then let me ‘practice’ on my grandad’s socks at every subsequent visit!  She used to churn these out by the bag load.

She was a terrible cook – when we went for tea mum warned us to eat the sausage rolls and scones that were offered as the same ones would be brought out the following week, and the next, and the next until they were eaten up.  She used to smoke when she was looking after us – and warn us not to tell our mum.

As I’ve become reacquainted with knitting over the last year it has brought back some happy memories of sitting round the electric fire at grandma’s – she’s missed by us all.

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