Sadly all of my grandparents have passed away and I wish that I had spent more time talking to them and really getting to know them. I didn’t really have a chance with two of them (Dad’s Dad and Mum’s Mum) as they died when I was little. My Grandpa Jolly (Mum’s Dad) lived with us until he died in the mid-1980’s, but I was too busy being a teenager at the time to understand that old people are important and have relevant things to say – not that I didn’t love him, just didn’t appreciate him and what he could give to me. My Grandma (Dad’s Mum) however, lived into her nineties, and I really have no excuse as to why I didn’t talk to her more often on the phone or go and visit. I’ll always regret that and so I am keen that Little Pink learns to appreciate her elders more than I did.
She has a full set of grandparents on her Dad’s side, and a Great-Grandmother too. We make sure that we visit her as often as we can and take lots and lots of photos with her. Mr Pink also asks lots of questions about her past, where she lived, what she did so that we can remember her when she is gone and hold on to pieces of her life – funnily we have moved very close to the area where she was brought up and are on a mission to find her old cottage and maybe even bring her to see it. So my first Gallery picture this week is of her and Little Pink:
My second photo is more poignant (for me anyway). It is of my Mum and Dad with Little Pink when she was about three weeks old. I think they had given up all hope of ever having grandchildren (I am an only child, so the pressure was on!) and were over the moon when I told them I was pregnant. They were desperate to come and see her when she was born and were a bit put out when we asked them to stay away whilst Mr Pink had his paternity leave so that we could get used to being our own little family unit! All that was forgotten when they met her, and you can see the love and happiness in their faces.
Sadly, behind her smile, Mum was still fighting breast cancer and unbeknown to us all it was spreading through her bones and into her lungs and liver. She died when Little Pink was 16 months old. I am grateful that Mum met Little Pink, that she held her, that she saw her start to turn into the funny, loving little girl that she is. But I am angry that she was taken away before she could talk properly, before she started to have her own opinions and at a time when I needed her the most. (Here is an old blog post I wrote about her – Mum). And it upsets me that Little Pink will have no real memory of Grandma, apart from the photos that we have and the conversations that we have about her. It’s funny, but every time we go into a church Little Pink says that Grandma is here (Mum had a deep, deep faith), and I think she probably is.
Treasure your grandparents, your elders. Don’t take them for granted, and tell them that you love them every time you see them. After all, we’ll be in their shoes one day, won’t we?