Like the autumn leaves which fall into a spectacular deciduous tapestry as the seasons roll by, such is the circle of life. We are welcomed into the world; we live, we love – and inevitably we have to say goodbye. It’s a lesson I hope my Harrison is far, far away from ever having to learn, and long may he be blessed with having grandparents close by to treasure.
Having lost my beloved Nan this past week, Harrison will now only know her through my memories, as his little life experiences with her will no doubt not be strong enough to yield permanent memories. But that’s where I come in and how I will keep her spirit alive. Because a flame such as she should never be truly extinguished but kept alight through the recollections of times gone by. And I hope this is one way I can show him how wonderful his “Nan-Nan” was, and what she meant to his Mummy….
To my precious Nan,
31 years is a long time to love someone. You share your entire life with them and grow up secure in the knowledge of their unconditional love and support. Yet there is no escaping the fact you will one day have to somehow say goodbye. That is why this past week has seen me bear a heavy heart, although Nan, I know you are in a better place. Selfishly I wish never to say goodbye to that quiet spirit and determination that has seen you overcome so much in life, but I also wish you peace and freedom from your pain.
I only hope we did you proud on Friday –it was never going to be easy to say goodbye to someone as adored as you. Having each of your beloved grandchildren play a special role in this farewell was a fitting tribute to you, and highlighted how truly treasured you were. You cherished your family, and likewise we cherished you. My Reading is but a blur, and I hope you know if I had the chance over again I’d compose myself more and be stronger. The hymn beforehand brought me undone – it was one we sang many times together over the years in Church. Whatever the case, I was honoured to be a part of honouring you.
Your body may have failed you in the end, but your heart never stopped loving, and your words always caressed my ears. You never failed to ask “how you poppin’?” and always replied you were “real good thanks”, despite us knowing to the contrary. There was that melodious tinkle of laughter that made us smile, and your face, always adorned in a permanent and rosy smile. Sunshine shone from you, you made me feel happy, you made me feel safe, and you made me feel loved.
Thank you for the endless supply of “Nanny Bikkies” and “Little Fishies”; for the Saturday afternoon baking sessions and compulsory licking of the spoons and bowl (before the cake was even finished); the comforting cuddles as I curled up on your lap in Church every Sunday, so warm it could melt the icecaps in the Antarctic. I’ll never forget the simple things, like being mesmerised by the beads you wore around your neck, or the felt green crocodile fridge magnet that had me rather perplexed. And of course, “The Farm” – my second home, a place I knew as well as my own. Always waiting at the door, tea towel slung over your shoulder, with a warm embrace at the ready. You knew nothing of judgement, but everything of compassion and love.
There is a hole in my world without you, and a large chapter of my life, as familiar as one of your embraces, is now over. Yet I will ensure Harrison grows up to know how lucky he is to be part of your amazing legacy. 10 children, 26 grandchildren and 10 great grandchildren who will eternally adore you Nan, and forever carry your spirit, determination and wisdom in our hearts, wherever we may go in life. You started a dynasty that bore 46 souls into this world, and built a family on strong faith and love. What a privilege it is to be part of the Cassidy legacy.
Til we meet again, rest in peace beautiful Nanny xxx