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So, I was going to write a blog post or two about our summer road trip, our 3,500 or so kilometers and 4 countries (and yes, the sound of music tour).
But then we got home and the rentrée has been BUSY, but also about a hundred times easier than the past two years. I was going to call that post ‘third time’s the charm’ because I finally feel like I’ve a clue what’s going on.
But then grandma died.
I knew this would probably happen while I was here, on the far side of the globe. Even when we first left NZ, two and a half years ago, I wondered, as you do when you’ve got grandparents in their late 80s and you move to the other side of the world.
I’m 29 and a week ago I had 3 living grandparents. All in all, I’m incredibly lucky. I spent ten years of my life living just a few kms away from Mum’s parents, and school was a stone’s throw from their house. We spent a lot of time with them, until we moved to the south island, but even at that distance, we had skype, and often twice annual visits, and a foundation of knowing one another well enough that a bit of distance didn’t freeze us up. On seeing each other there was plenty to catch up on, plenty of connection.
And now, I’m on the far side of the globe and everyone, even my sister who lives in Ohio, is coming together to mourn and celebrate and all that… but not me. We visited at Christmas. Things had deteriorated. I said goodbye and knew. I thought I knew and it turns out I did.
Funny how fully expecting a thing to happen doesn’t actually make all that much difference to how you feel when it actually does.
Grandma was (past tense)
a great artist
mistaken for the queen
by six year olds
hostess of a hundred afternoon teas
taught me how to make beds with hospital corners, and
that cross-stitch should look the same on the back
that a thimble can be worth a lot of money
that jelly beans aren’t just for kids
that its worth crossing town for just the right frame
or cup of tea and sandwich.
Believed in quality.
Believed in a lot, in fact,
but not in hell
and not in drink
proud great grand daughter of temperance suffragist
stubborn and generous
Grandma is (present tense)
and a link between me
and so many wide-spread people,
a lot of whom believe she is (present tense)
still going strong on another plane.
(proving to the great grandkids, that a party hat is nothing to be afraid of)