A lifestyle blog all about Birmingham, UK.

Tuesday, 2 September 2014

a little letter to the sky

I used to run up the driveway, through your kitchen, past your chair and look at grandads music collection, asking just what the 'rat pack' was and if I could join. The distinct smell would hit you like a brick as soon as you walked into the lounge and I remember how mom would bath me and hannah after we'd been at yours to get rid of the smell of cigarettes and tobacco. Fast forward a few years and I remember sitting in my aunty's lounge and you not replying when I said hello. 'Nan?' I said again, and no reply, no reply from my nanny parker. It was up and down for a few years and soon there was just nothing - absolutely nothing. A relationship between a nan and her grandchild has disappeared and it was suddenly like you'd moved to the other side of the world - I knew you were there but I couldn't get to you. But you lived 15 minutes away - tops. Mom only told me the whole story a few years ago and I guess for around the last 5/6 years I've simply referred to you as 'my mom's mom' or if people asked how many grandparents I asked, I simply wouldn't count you, because you were just a woman, having amazing relationships with all my cousins and family and having no connection to me. You would probably struggle to point me out in a crowd wouldn't you? You asked me and Hannah to meet up with you and I denied - i denied because I wanted you to be taught a lesson - you cannot simply walk in and out of people's lives. And once - once in how many years you tried to get in touch - 'she doesn't want it enough' I would say. When you sent a card with £20 in to my niece last year soon after she was born, my heart broke. All I could think about was how many cards you had failed to give your grandchild over the years - 'congratulations for getting into university Beth' 'happy 18th birthday sweetheart' - nothing. You soon became the witch who couldn't put aside a silly family issue from years ago to even congratulate her granddaughter, I felt worthless and just nothing to you. And it was at that point I thought, that woman hasn't just broken your heart, she broke it years ago when she couldn't even say hello to an 8 year old sat innocently watching the TV with a plate of beans on toast. See, the thing is nan, for years I put on this front of 'she doesn't care about me why should I care about her' and yet all I wanted you to do was to pick up the phone and ask me how I'd been, all I wanted was a 'what happened wasn't your fault and I'm sorry you got caught up in it' but yet I'd sit there with my other grandparents and claim that I 'didn't need you'. When mom told me last December that you had cancer, I felt blank. And I felt a bit blank about the situation for months after, unsure of what to do - do I go and see you? I knew you were getting sicker and I questioned if I should say my goodbyes - but I didn't, I put it all to the side and assumed there was all the time in the world to say bye for now, nan. Just over two weeks ago, mom told me you'd died. And I reacted in a way I never thought I would - I cried. I cried, and cried, and cried. I felt guilt push down on me and I was angry with myself for not finding it within myself to go and see you in your last weeks. But then I felt guilty for crying - crying about someone I hadn't seen in a few years, even spoke to, even had a relationship with. Your grandchildren sobbed away and reminisced on all these lovely memories with you and there was me, crying because I hadn't had that. I hadn't had the relationship with you that I'd yearned for. But the thing is nan, I think we both know that the whole situation got out of hand and that when you asked me to go for a coffee I probably should have gone, but that's the funny thing, I'm a lot like you really aren't i, I was stubborn like you not to go and I've been stubborn about a relationship with you for years - so perhaps were just both in the wrong here. I'm not going to blame myself for something that happened between you and another family member years ago, but I'm not going to be angry anymore with you either and I reckon we are both sorry to each other at the end of the day. Nan, despite everything, you are family and I love you, because that's what family do really isn't it, they love each other. I will see you again one day but for now nan, rest peacefully and night night. xxx

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