My Nanna passed away Friday 12/03/2010, at the ripe age of 91.
I was asked to say a few words from the grandkids – I did this nine years ago for Poppy also. The following is my tribute, based on various inputs requested and received via social networking – found yet another Facebook use.
It’s a real honour for me to be here today to join in the celebration of Nanna’s life, and to say some words on behalf of her 18 proud grandkids and great grandkids.
We loved the way when Nanna saw us she would always touch our faces with her two hands. We’ll miss her hugs. We’d get a hug and kiss every time we saw her. They were never the strongest hugs, and each year our arms were going further and further around her tiny frame, but her hugs always came from the heart. We were constantly reminded that big things do come in small packages.
We always loved staying at Shorncliffe on our school holidays, playing cards and board games. Being at Nanna and Poppy’s home felt like our home. Jetty Street breakfasts were legendary, with Nanna’s poached eggs out of an egg tray that fit on top of a steaming pan, served on toast and promite. And regardless of how miniscule the fish was that we brought back from fishing on the jetty, she’d always happily prepare it as a meal fit for a King.
We loved the heartfelt cards she’d write to us for birthdays, or any other special occasion which she’d never forget. She made it known she was very proud of us. She was intensely proud of all her family. In her words, we “came from good stock”.
And she really treasured her growing number of great grandkids. She loved holding them. Carrying them she looked truly happy, even though in her final few years a couple of those babies weighed almost a quarter of her own weight.
Nanna thought the grandkids were such cute babies too, but, for a few of us she’d usually follow-up by adding how massive our heads were.
She understood how busy everyone’s lives were and never expected people to go out of their way for her. Every time we visited her, she would emphasise how happy she was to see us, rather than how long it had been since she had seen us.
Nanna was prepared for anything. She always had a handkerchief, which she’d often moisten with her tongue to wash our faces.
And we never went hungry. My goodness!
She could always lay out a spread of food so swiftly, and would always offer seconds. You’d finish your meal, and then a skinny little arm would push another plate of food closer to you. No matter what our size, she always thought we needed more. To her we were all “growing kids”.
And she’d always serve herself last. She was born to be a mother, grandmother and great grandmother.
Nanna and Poppy were also two of the most reliable people we’ll ever know. At their dinner time you could set your watch to 6pm with absolute precision.
And in these modern times, it’s uncommon for kids to have both parents attend their school parades, fetes, award nights, graduations, sporting events and anything else. We always had our parents there, but we were also quite unique and blessed to often have both grandparents there.
In recent times, Queensland has suffered two of its worst droughts in history, and was subjected to severe water restrictions. Nanna’s take on this was almost nonchalant. To her it was no big deal. She had naturally adhered to Level 7 water restrictions for more than 80 years. Whenever we stayed at Shorncliffe, Nanna would wash us in a bath with the tide out. She was an expert at how to be thrifty and make do – two very good lessons for us to learn.
At her 90th birthday it was touching to see Nanna cry at the memory of Poppy. But she was still able to show how much she loved spending her time with us.
Nanna and Poppy’s love story will always inspire us. Long-lasting or eternal love is an amazing story. Poppy was the love of her life, and she’s missed him so much over the last nine years.
That love they had for each other has passed on through the family.
Although it’s sad she’s left us, we’re happy they’re together again.
Nanna and Poppy always danced so well. We assume they’re dancing together now.