Sunday, September 25, 2011


Death is a funny old thing.

When I got ill at 16, mum said I couldnt die, because I didnt know anybody on the other side and I would be lonely.
It was true, up until I was nearly 18, nobody in my life had died. Perhaps it was an age thing. I grew up with one grandma. And I loved her to pieces. Both my grandads died before I was born. I remember watching the film Grandpa as a child and crying right through it as I didnt have a grandpa to read me stories or do fun things with. My mum is estranged with her side of the family and so I grew up with just my dads side of the family. He had 9 brothers and sisters and his mum was my Nan.

I loved my nan deeply. When I was ill, she phoned my mum on night and said, its ok, you dont need to worry anymore. I have made a deal with god, and I am switching places with her. She still held up this story once I got well. That she was making sure I was ok before she said goodbye. 4 years later, once I had gone back to uni, she got sick and eventually died. It wasnt unexpected, she lived to be 92. But she was an incredible woman with an amazing story.

At 14, she didnt get on with her mother and left home with her aunty, by ship from Ireland to come and live in Liverpool. By 16 she was working full time and had her own place and a man. When the war set in, she had 2 children and had recntly lost another. She was shipped out to live in York with her children. Once she came home and her husband returned, 9 months later my dad was born. And followed after that the rest of her children. She lost another two when they were young. All her life, up until she was about 70, she worked. While the kids where at home, she worked 3 jobs and made sure they all went to school.

There is a lot she didnt remember and nothing could back that up. She had no idea what happened to her parents, or even her full date of birth. The place where her records were kept got bombed and so they were destroyed. But she was an amazing woman.

But this entry was not about my nan. so I shall continue.

Over time I have lost a lot of people. My dads brother and sister both passed as well as their partners. Other semi relatives have passed and people who I have spoken to have also.

This week my neighbor passed. Again he was an amazing man. He fought in the war and had all his medals to prove it. When I was growing up, he used to call himself my adopted granddad. His wife spent a lot of time in ours talking to my mum and such and every chirstmas they would both get dressed up christmas morning to come visit. The photos are wonderful.

He was always the life and soul of any party. First on the dance floor at any occasion and usually with a silly hat. Whenever I visited, her would call me princess and get down on one knee to kiss my hand.

The last few years have been tough on him. His body has been overcome with blindness, deafness and Alzheimer's. He even began having this kind of mini stroke every few weeks which really effected his memory. His life was no longer his own.

In the end, he developed a urine infection, that quickly spread to his kidneys and destroyed them. He had palliative care in the hospital on the last few days and passed on last week at the grand old age of 96. He didnt quite get his letter from the queen for turning a 100, but he did get a letter congratulating him on 70 years of marriage off her.

Maybe its wrong, but I dont feel bad that he is gone. In the last few years, he didnt have his own life, his body had aged to much. He had no pleasure in life, not even remembering his wife. I dont want to remember him like that. My memories of him shall remain of him being himself joking about. With him having a full blown conversation with tickle me elmo, challenging him to a fight. And when Elmo laughed? Elmo got a good ole telling off about minding his manners and a clip around the ear, while everybody else sat giggling.

Good night Uncle Harry. Your with your familiy now, but I know you will be waiting for the love of your life.

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