It was a hot Summer’s day. July 18th 1996. I was fifteen years old. I was looking forward to the end of the Summer term and was excited for the break with family. But everything changed that day.
My Nan had been poorly for a couple of weeks and had been taken into hospital a few days before. I never feared the worst because Nan was someone who was always there. Always had been and in my head, always would be. I was fifteen. Young and naive. But I didn’t know any different. But it turned out that the world had other ideas that day.
The day before, my Nan took a turn for the worst and it was a long night. Everyone feared a phone call. You know the kind. Every time the phone rang we felt a little bit more sick. But the phone call we all dreaded didn’t come. At least not that night. Nan was a fighter. That much was clear.
My Mum and Dad decided to keep me off school the next day. They didn’t think it was right to send me and for that I will be forever grateful. I spent the day at home and we just waited. And hoped. And waited a bit more.
We waited all morning and then at 2pm that afternoon the phone rang and it was the news we didn’t want to hear. Nan had died. And I burst into tears. I’d never lost anyone and I had never felt anything like it in my life.
That was twenty years ago and it’s incredibly hard to believe that so much time has passed since I last saw her. So much has changed in my life. In all our lives. I’m grown up now. I have my own family and there are so many days that go by that I wonder what she would think of my lovely little boy. I don’t know why I wonder because I know she would adore him. As she did all of her grandchildren.
I wanted to write this to mark the twenty years since she left us. I couldn’t let it go by without acknowledging it. Twenty years has gone by in a blink but it seems so very long at the same time.
Her photograph hangs on my living room wall along with lots of other memories and my little man will know all about her as he grows up. He has already started asking “who is that lady?” when pointing to her picture.
So, to Nan – I hope you’re proud of what you see when you look over us. Just know that we miss you every day and not a day goes by that we don’t think about you. Twenty years may have passed and you may be gone, but I promise you, you will never, ever be forgotten.