Tuesday 5 January 2016


A whole decade. Ten complete years since my Little Nan went and died with a broken heart. I still believe it was "her time" and that she was ready to go. Having that belief didn't, and still doesn't, of course, make it any less devastating, nor the grief less immense.

I can't count the number of times my likeness to hers has been mentioned by so many people, and I smile every time. She was lovely.

So unspeakably proud and brimming with admiration am I, knowing what my Lovely Little Nanny Annie had to endure as a child - the poverty, the losses and grief, the war.

She was incredibly generous, exceptionally so.
She was dryly funny.
She was f-a-n-t-a-s-t-i-c in her stubbornness.
She had wavy, unbelievably-thick, Irish auburn-brunette hair (exactly as mine *smugface*).
She never missed an episode of Coronation Street if she could help it.
She was proudly, brilliantly, East London working class.
She had the softest skin, and passed her love of rose- and floral-scented talcum powder to me.
She was superstitious; her funeral was on Friday 13th. The irony was vast.
She loved her soft, cosy, knitted cardigans, with shiny gold-tone buttons.

While I can believe that it was ten years ago that she died, I can, likewise, believe that it was yesterday, so vivid are my memories of the day.
I wear her wedding and eternity rings each day with immeasurable love and gratitude, knowing that she wanted me to have them, as her only Granddaughter.

My brother, her only Grandson, and I lost a second, loving, utterly superb Nan on that Thursday in 2006. And, I'm fairly certain that I speak for us both when I say that we love her every day, and still miss her delicious tea and biscuits, hearing her refer to people she didn't like as "bleedin' sods", and her smile-inducing greetings of, "'Ello, mate", with that brilliant chuckle that was uniquely hers.

My last words to her were, "I love you, Nan." - and love her still, I do.