Journal entry from Nov. 27, 2014:
“Such a great day with Nan! We shopped downtown at The Bay, got to sit at the chef’s table at Richmond Station (AMAZING), followed by a great dinner at the Jolly Miller. It’s so cool that we have this special bond. Nan is so fantastic. We even got free cheesecake and coffee liqueur shots from the waiter to finish off the day! Nan makes everything better.”
Now I’m having a hard time writing my journal entry for Nov. 17, 2016. I’ve tried and my pen just won’t write the words. My favorite person in the world passed away early that morning and it still feels like I can’t remember how to breathe.
My Nan was a woman of courage, class and certain level of stubbornness who I know loved me more than anything in the world. I always thought she would live to 100, spending the next 15 years of her life in her garden, by her pool, reading Vanity Fair and enjoying the occasional gin and tonic.
When I think of how lucky I am for all of the time I got to spend with her, I can’t help but feel even more grateful for being her only grandchild. It means I got all of her undivided attention, energy, and love.
She was like a grandma and best friend all wrapped in one. We’d go shopping, out to lunch, then relax and chat over wine when we got home. We had this wonderful connection and I’m so happy I got to take trips to see her, spending time just the two of us.
I thought I had more time to hear her stories. How she crossed the Atlantic, by boat, at the age of 26 with £100 to her name to start a new life. How my grandpa turned down a job in Egypt to follow her. How she walked to Bank St. one fine day, sat down and said she’d like to learn about investing. A woman? In the 60’s? She thought the bankers must have laughed over their martinis at lunch that day. Brave as anything, that woman. I thought I had time to hear more.
She taught me the importance of budgeting, and she showcased the diligence of gardening. She taught me how to pack a suitcase, and the simple power of asking for what you want. She taught me manners, how to dress, and how to put myself together. She taught me the true meaning of class.
I’d give anything for another lazy afternoon of wine and chips by the pool with her, or even another evening of watching CNN at a volume I can only assume the neighbors could hear.
Everything she gave to me is a memory I will cherish forever. And everything I’m feeling right now can be summarized by this: I’m not ready for a world without her. A world without my #1 fan, a world with a little less glam, and a world with a lot less sparkle.
I love you forever & always, Nan. Pip pip.
It was an honor to be your granddaughter.