“If tears could build a stairway and memories a lane, I would walk right up to heaven, and bring you back again”
There are some people in your life who make an imprint, who fill a whole, who support you and encourage you to pursue your dreams. When you lose these people you feel empty, lost, incomplete. And no matter what anybody says, that feeling will never go away; yes it will get easier, but you’ll always have a part that’s missing, that’s no longer there.
March 16th 2012, my world fell apart – I lost my Nan, the one person in the whole world I felt supported my dreams, understood what I wanted to do, and she was so proud of me for doing that. To make this whole situation even harder, I lost my Grandad just seven months before on August 27th 2011. On both occasions I was alone, with people I had just met. When my Grandad passed away I was travelling USA with friends I had met just months before at Camp. Just months later when my Nan passed away I was in a new city, with new friends after just beginning my University degree…but that’s a story for another day.
As we’ve just passed the four year anniversary of my Nan’s passing I’ve spent a lot of time reminiscing, looking through photos, remembering the special moments and memories we share together.
Family meals were a time where everyone would come together, but not in a conventional way where everyone would sit back, relax and have a good time…in a way where everyone would fight about who would sit next to who, who would get to share the next story, or who’s taking up too much space at the table. Honestly I think most families are like this, when people say they went out for a nice meal and there wasn’t a single dispute or debate, inside my head I’m just thinking lies.
Her smile warms my heart, brightens my day, and makes all my troubles go away. Photos hold so many memories and so many heartfelt moments that I cherish so closely to my heart. The above photo was at my leaving party before I went off to Camp America and then University. It was May 2011 and I had a BBQ in the garden with family and some close friends, and although my Nan and Grandad were both freezing cold by this point, they insisted on staying outside to enjoy the party. They didn’t want to miss a single moment, although my Nan has passed away, I still visit my Grandad when I’m back in Bournemouth and I will continue to do this for as long as I possibly can.
That photo is quite possibly my favourite photo with my Nan, and to this day if anyone ever asks about her this is the photo I will always show. It is also one of the better photos of my sisters and I, so even though were now almost six years on, none of us are blonde or would no longer wear tiny dresses, this photo still makes regular appearances.
I try and visit her grave as much as possible, every time I go home I try and make a quick trip to let her know I’m thinking about her. If there’s ever an occasion, whether it’s her Birthday, Christmas, Mothers Day, or even Easter I will always take her pink roses; these were her favourite…if I can’t get there I will make sure someone else takes some on my behalf. If pink roses aren’t available then they will be another coloured rose, but they have to be roses…yellow tend to be the next colour of choice. When my nan passed away my sisters, my mum and I all put pink roses in her coffin and from that day forwards I will always try my best to take her pink roses.
My Nan was a lover of her jewellery, she had so much of it that she had collected and treasured over the years that she was worth a fortune! She had lots of rings that she always wore and also a handful of necklaces that would never leave her neck. She had two jewellery boxes full of treasures and so many interesting pieces. When she passed this all got left to my Mum as she was her only daughter (she did have 3 sons also). My mum gave some pieces to other family members but kept some special pieces for herself.
On my Graduation day (November 2014) I knew that I was getting a present from Tiffany&Co from my parents as they had been promising me for the previous three years of my studies that if I tried hard and never gave up there would be a little blue box waiting for me at the other end, and as an avid lover of Tiffany&Co I knew exactly what this meant. After opening my beautiful Tiffany&Co necklace, my mum handed me another box; a small blue velvet box that looked quite old fashioned, I had no idea what was inside. When I opened it it was a beautiful onyx and gold ring my Nan wore everyday, as far as I am aware this was a gift from either my Grandad or her Grandad when she was a lot younger. My mum has a very similar ring (this was purposely bought to be similar to my Nan’s) that was given to her by her Pamp (Grandad). This was such a loving gesture and meant that my Nan was with me on my Graduation day.
My mum knew how special this was to me, how much it hurt me that she wouldn’t be there. When I told her I was going to University she was so proud, so unbelievably proud, I still remember her face now, crying…tears of joy. Two of my older cousins went to University many years previously, but my sisters had no intentions of going and when I said I wanted to and had been accepted my Nan was filled with joy.
When my Grandad passed away just before I started University and then my Nan in my first year I almost quit…it took every ounce of strength to keep going. I didn’t do it for me, I did it for her…it was all for her. And I know that two years after submitting my Dissertation and giving my parents a copy they still haven’t read it, because I know the day they do they will tell me. In the acknowledgements I said how this was for her, it was all for her.
Knowing that someone that means so much to you, who holds memories that you treasure so dear and someone that would do absolutely anything and everything to ensure you are happy is no longer around, it is a sensation that can’t be explained. That person who will never meet your children, or be there on your wedding day, or be a shoulder to cry on on your darkest days, or a beam of light and pure laughter when you’re together. It’s a feeling that will never subside, and it’s the little things that make it easier everyday.
My Nan was a professional figure skater and my mum was Semi-Pro, so figure skating has always been a big part of my life growing up. I have very fond memories going ice skating from a young age with my Mum and Nan, both wearing their own beautifully white skates whizzing around the ice, picking my sisters and I up and teaching us new tricks. Because of this passion I bought my nan a tree decoration of a robin wearing figure skates around three years before she passed away. She would put it on her tree at Christmas time and then move it to hang on a cabinet for the rest of the year so she always had a piece of me in the room – she was so thoughtful and loving. This past Christmas my mum sent it to me to put on my first Christmas tree in my own home. I will now always have a small piece of her in my home, she will continue to be a part of my Christmases and every day memories.
No matter how many days or years pass, you will always be a massive part of my life. You have influenced so many of my life decisions, you have moulded me into the person I am today, you will forever hold a huge chunk of my heart. Losing you was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to deal with, and I still don’t think I am truly accustomed to it. I feel this is one of the biggest reasons I could never properly move back to Bournemouth, knowing you’re not there to brighten up my day. I treasure every moment and every memory we spent together, and I can only pray that one day we can share them together again.
This was a very personal post and I honestly don’t know if I will ever even post it, but sometimes I feel it’s good to step outside of your comfort zone, to put pen to paper so to speak and to let all the heartache out. I have written the vast majority of this post through teary eyes, and I can quite honestly say that this was the most difficult thing I have ever opened up about in a public sense, there are only two people in the world who aren’t family who know just how much she means to me. They both know who they are, one I no longer speak to, and the other a lot has changed with. I hope they both respect what I’ve opened up to them with and keep that to themselves forever more. I love my Nan more than she will ever understand, she was and still is to this day the most special person in my life, and will always be loved and missed dearly.
Love, Luce ♥