Today is the day my Granda died. Eight years ago today. I can’t really believe it has been that long, I still remember where I was when I found out and all the bits surrounding it, I was so angry with my mum and dad for not letting me come back home before that because ever since the day we left Gran & Granda when we were on the way to Canada I always had this horrible feeling that something would happen to one of them before I came back. It doesn’t feel like all that long ago. I can’t believe my Gran has been on her own all that time, but, as always she is doing fine, out dancing or bingo-ing or shopping every day of the week.
She remembers him like he was here yesterday and puts his numbers on the lottery every week. Not a day goes by when she doesn’t stop and recall a memory. Just this morning she was telling me about getting off the bus and walking up when they lived in the old house, and hearing his whistling from the back step. He always rolled his own cigarettes and kept Victory V lozenges in his sock drawer that I always pinched. I wonder if they still make those. He grew tomatoes and cucumbers in the greenhouse and had a woodworking shed where I would always go and mess around. It’s one of those things where I wish I’d had more time. I wish I’d listened and had the chance to ask questions.
That’s why I am so glad of the time I am having with my Gran right now. Of all her grandchildren, I have spent the most time with her these last few years, and I know how she is about most things. I know a lot of stories. She tells me about my Granda being in Japan for two years straight after they were married, that he joined up to the army because he couldn’t get a bed in his own house. She tells me about being in the sanatorium with TB when she was 21. She tells me about her brothers and sisters, about her father who was in a wheelchair after a brain hemorrhage, about her mother who lived til she was 90. She always says she could write a book. I wish she would.