This time, 7 years ago, you were very much still here.
We’d not long celebrated Christmas, but you’d fallen ill, and spent some of the day in bed. I’d never seen you unwell at any occasion before, I didn’t enjoy Christmas that year as much as I’d done before.
That was when everything changed.
In February you seemed better, and, on your birthday, you had your photo taken. It’s one of my favourite photos of you-you’re holding flowers we bought your for your birthday, and Keiron had delivered them to you because I was then poorly! He took that photo of you, stood smiling that beautiful smile, as happy as you always were. I cherish that photo, it hangs, pride of place on my bedroom wall, next to my bed, bringing me comfort every day, especially now there are no more photos being taken of you.
Today, I found a card you gave me for one of my birthdays. I can’t remember seeing it recently, I believe it’s probably been packed away in the memory box I found it in, since we moved into our first flat. It’s got a butterfly on it, identical to the ones we had for decorations for our wedding, another sign you were and always are with us.
The day before my wedding, we went to the hall to decorate it for our reception. As I carried the box of butterfly decoration in-chosen because butterfly’s were your absolute favourite-a white butterfly fluttered around my head, once again showing me you were with me.
Inside the card I found today, you had written a little message, as you always did straight from your heart. This one said “If love was money, you would be a very wealthy young lady, because I love you lots and lots, Nanny xxxx”.
It reminded me of the year I got engaged, and 2 months later, received a Christmas card with ‘Granddaughter and her Fiancé’ on it. I pretended I was outraged, having to share my Christmas card! You went out and bought me my own one, with ‘Grandaughter’ on, simply writing inside, “This ones just for you, all my love Nanny xxxx”.
I still have that one too.
Something I’ve come to realise since losing you, is that you’re still here when I need you. Not for cuddles, kisses and your voice, but little signs – like today’s card discovery, or a butterfly fluttering round me, or even your name, giving me strength when I most need it, telling me you’re not that far.
Our daughter knows you, even though you’ve never met her, and she carries your name, even though I know you wouldn’t have been overly thrilled with that, disliking your own name, as you told me often enough.
My son, who you’ve also never met, but did know about, carries Grandads name. I remember the day you blessed him with your love by putting your hands on my tummy the day I told you about him, even though you knew you wouldn’t make it to see him and touch him properly.
Both children know you, they always will, you’re their “Nanna in the sky!”
You’re not my Nanna in the sky though. You’re my Nanny. You were and always will be, my world, and although you took a piece of me when you left, I kind of don’t mind that, because I think you left a piece of you down here with me.
Keep sending me those signs, please never leave me completely.
My Hero. My Inspiration.