Goodbye Nan-Nan

My gran died last night. I usually keep this blog focused on England and Ex-Pat issues, but today I’m breaking my own rule and writing about something personal.

My gran was never my gran to me – she was nan-nan. We called her that when we were little and somehow we never stopped. So if it seems odd for a 50 year-old woman to call her gran ‘nan-nan’ I’m sorry. It probably is, but it’s too late to change now.

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She had been in a home for a few years as she had Alzheimer’s and couldn’t take care of herself. She was 97 and she died in her sleep, peacefully, without any pain. That’s as good as it gets for any of us, and yet it’s a shock anyway when it happens, and of course you wish you could turn back the clock and have more time.

But there are always the memories. Sunday teas and her amazing chocolate cakes; staying with her and granddad as kids and being allowed to stay up and watch ‘Match of the Day’; the way she used to sing ‘How Much is that Doggie in the Window?’ to me when I was little, complete with the ‘woof woof’ part; Christmases at her house; her love of Bruce Springsteen which continued well into her 80s and made her the coolest grandma anyone knew; and the way she had a picture of Bryan Ferry on her wall right up until she went into the home ‘because I like looking at him.’

I am 50 next week and for every one of those 50 years, my nan-nan has been there. I’ll miss her very much.

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14 thoughts on “Goodbye Nan-Nan

  1. Sorry for your loss. Even if it is expected due to age and frailness it still becomes so sad and real and a loss. You have wonderful memories to cherish. Love the pics and your gran in her slippers lol

  2. I’m so sorry, Louise. I’m glad you have such fond memories of your Grandmother. It sounds like you had a wonderful relationship with her. ♥

  3. Hey you had me tearing up and I’m a grown man who didn’t even know your nana but those photos say a lot. Darn, why do we grow old and why do we have to die?
    Maybe what I’m trying to say is those photos say so much.
    My condolences Louis.
    Till you meet again.
    John

  4. Louise, I’m so sorry, and I know exactly how you feel, as my Granny was so important to me throughout my life. Your Nan-nan had a good long life, and God bless her for it and the love she gave and received. What a wonderful photo of you as a small child running towards her! You’ll never stop missing her, but she’s part of you, now, so she still is here with you in some way. May your memories sustain you. Best wishes, Virginia

  5. Oh Louise, I’m so sorry for your loss, I know Nan-Nan was a big part of your life. That last picture brought me to tears. Thinking of you and your family ..

  6. Please accept my sincere condolences in the loss of your dear Nan-Nan ( my growm children still call my Dad “Poppop”:)
    it was a blessing she died peacefully in her sleep. Love the photos.

  7. So very sorry to read about your Nan-Nan. Loved the photos and the last one…..well it tells the whole story. May you find peace in your memories of Nan-Nan.

  8. I’m so sorry for your loss, Louise. There’s such a strong resemblance between you and your mom and your nan – those wonderful memories aren’t the only part of her that will always be with you.

    How lucky that you moved home in time to help your mom now.

  9. Very sorry to hear your news. But your post was beautiful and filled with love. It made me think of my own nan who has been passed many years now. Lovely photos from an era I remember well myself. I wish you peace,

  10. oh so sorry for your loss. you have such fond memories of your Nan-Nan. This morning, before reading this, my grandson called me “gran-gran” wierd, as he has never called me that. Normally its just Gran or Granny.

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