Last week I experienced one of the toughest moments in my life. I had to say goodbye to my beautiful 92-year-old Nan. She has been there for me through thick and thin, encouraged me through good and bad and just loved me for who I am. All who knew her will forever remember Nan’s epic generosity, love of a good laugh, legendary knitting skills and love of cooking. Some of my best childhood memories are at Nan’s eating melted cheese off a tin plate straight out of the oven, coconut macaroons, ginger cake, the best fried rice and stuffing balls, chicken and vegetable soup plus all the usual treats and treasures that Nan’s love to give their grandchildren. Rushing home on Wednesday afternoons knowing that Nan would be there with special treats and of course, Sunday evenings with fish and chips, brown pickled onions and white bread for the chip butty’s on the table. There is nothing softer than Nan’s knee or her cuddle, especially if you were the first to get into bed with her when she was having a sleepover. I know that there are not many people who get to have their Nan in their lives for so long and I feel so lucky to have been one of them. Being English and a dedicated supporter of the monarchy, Nan has always wanted a special letter from the Queen to mark her 100th year. She didn’t quite get there but I know that Her Majesty the Queen would have congratulated her on a life well lived. A life full of love, laughter and happiness. Becoming a nonagenarian (90+ years) like my Nan doesn’t just happen though. Nan was sharp as a tack till the very end and it was her body that just couldn’t keep up. There is a bit of effort involved in reaching this milestone and I know that walking for miles on end, remaining calm in all kinds of storms, keeping social networks alive and well, eating good food and enjoying life are all performance enhancers that Nan used to her advantage. I know that when I reach the same milestone as my Nan I want to be confident that I have done everything in my power to live my best life. Are you doing everything you can?
“The history of our grandparents is remembered not with rose petals but in the laughter and tears of their children and their children’s children. It is into us that the lives of grandparents have gone. It is in us that their history becomes a future.” Charles and Ann Morse