Tuesday, March 4, 2014

The Thing About Grief Is...

Okay okay, it's a legitimate post title, but it's also the title of one of my favourite songs ever. You can hear 'The Thing About Grief' in the background of this very special video.

This week my grief has snuck up on me. Millie and Pip have been drawing together with a box of crayons my great grandmother gave me when I was about 10. She'd won them at bingo and I always kept them safe and special. The box tipped over today and as Millie and I scooped them back into the box a divider fell out. I'd written on it 'Bottom Right Left'. I loved that giant box of crayons so much when I was kid, I didn't get to see my Nana B very often, and I loved the little gifts she gave me. Seeing the girls playing with the crayons and seeing my careful childhood writing on the box (to keep them pristine! I Looked After My Things!) made me miss her oh so much. She would have loved meeting her namesake, Millie Alice to her Mildred Alice, and I see her cheeky grin in my Millie Alice.

I am estranged from my paternal grandmother (Norma) and her mother, Nana B, did everything to be the best grandmother she could be. She died a few months after her 100th birthday, after spending six months in a home. She stayed at home until she was 99 1/2 until her dementia was such that she needed more care. When she was in her early 90's, Mr S and I drove down to see her house in the Victorian hills and help with her garden. My tiny great grandmother (standing only about 5' tall) cracked the whip and exhausted both of us with her energy.

Nana B was a real firecracker. She never married, which in her time was somewhat controversial. Amazingly (divinely?) she had a daughter, and the Blanchard lineage was born. She worked hard, and after her partner, Ted died before I was born, she kept herself busy. There was always a charity to crochet for, a raffle to sell tickets for, a bingo night to attend. She was always partial to a flutter on the pokies. More importantly, she was always there to chat to her family, and remembered every birthday, Christmas and special event.

I miss her so. Her memory brings forth the memories of my Dad too. Ah, grief. You can still sock it to me.


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