The end of an era

An old lady sitting at a table with several empty glasses on it.

This week has been a sad one for my family. My Grandma passed away on Sunday after a short illness. We knew it was coming but, as with anything like this, there was still an element of shock.

We were just about to start our Mother’s Day meal when the call came. She would have loved being at the table with us and this made it all the more poignant.

All of a sudden, it was the end of an era. My last grandparent gone. Visits to my parents’ house – where she lived in her own annexe – will never be the same again.

I’ll miss her comical battles with Amelie who has a penchant for making off with her walker. I’ll miss the recorked bottles of rosé in the fridge for weeks on end. And I’ll miss the funny way she pronounced ‘super’ as well as her use of phrases like “Did you, by Jove?”

Above all, I’ll miss her.

Although we’re all obviously sad, now is a time to celebrate her life. She was 91 years old and had rarely been ill in all that time. That is an amazing innings. With the exception of the last few weeks of her life, she remained independent and with an enviable social life to boot.

She also knew all seven of her great grandchildren. With the exception of Amelie who is sadly too young, she will be remembered by all of them. It’s been fantastic that we’ve had her in our lives as long as we have.

This is one of my favourite pictures of my Grandma. It was taken on my wedding day, almost eight years ago. The reason isn’t because it was on my special day. Nor that the old girl looks like she’d had more than a few too many. Although there was plenty of rosé at our reception. It’s because it shows one of her best characteristics.

People had been placing their empty glasses on the table she was sat at. Then our cheeky photographer friend spotted an opportunity. She knew what he was up to and played along.

She was a very proud lady and didn’t like to be embarrassed, but underneath there was a wicked sense of humour which often came to the fore when we were least expecting it. We can all raise a glass to that.

I wrote last week about how we would help the children deal with ‘GG’ passing. If early indications are anything to go by, they’re likely to take it in their stride. Once we had all regained our composure and started eating, my mum smiled at the boys and spoke. “GG was the queen of leftovers. What are we going to do with them now?”

Dylan’s matter-of-fact response was instant. “We’ll eat them from now on. It’s what she would want.” Selfless, I’m sure you’ll agree!

One mantle has been handed on to the next generation. Maybe I’ll take to keeping a bottle of rosé in the fridge too.

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