A Birthday Memorial

Yesterday would have been my nan’s 76th birthday. We lost her to cancer a little over 6 years ago after complications with surgery. She never got to meet Chris, James or Liam but she knew I was pregnant and happy when she left us. I knew she had cancer a few months before she passed away but never had the oppertunity to visit her.

To be honest, I never knew how bad it was. My family have never been the best of communicators so I spent weeks and months wondering why I never knew how bad it was.

I’ve watched my other nan go through cancer 3 times, twice for breast cancer. So when I heard my other Nan had cancer, I looked upon it as an illness that would get treated, that she would recover and if not be cured, at least she would be around a few more years.

When we got the call to say she was in a really bad way after her op and my mum and dad were off to the hospital 45 miles away, I knew it was bad.

Within a couple of hours she’d gone. I knew she was in for surgery, I just didn’t think this would be it.

I didn’t even get to attend the funeral. It was booked for a day in May. The one week I was on holiday. Whilst I tried to make plans to travel by train, leave Chris and Matthew at the holiday park and get someone to pick me up from Chelmsford station, my Grandad was very insistent that the last thing my nan would ever want would be to disrupt anyones holiday. The best way I could respect nan was to think about her for a bit and enjoy life and my family as she did. So that morning I rang my grandad from our holiday, wished the day went well and said I’d be thinking of him and the rest of the family as much as her that day.


So here’s a little picture to commemorate my nan. Winifred, or Winnie for short to her friends, Nanny Win to us grandchildren was a loud vibrant cheerful woman who always had everyone else in her best interests. She worked hard for her family, was a real Londoner at heart and was always the life and soul of the party with a heart made of gold. I’d have loved to have met her other great grandsons. Even when she was really ill, she’d knitted and crocheted a whole carrier bag of baby cardigans in white for my new baby. They still remain tightly wrapped and saved in a cupboard to pass on down to my grandchildren as it was a bit too raw to use them for James when he was born 6 months later and by the time I had Liam I’d already decided to save it for the next generation and to pass on something personal to each of my kids. Each can have 3 cardigans for their first born, a present from (thier) nan’s nan. A present from someone born in the 1930’s. Let’s face it, there’s a good chance my grandchildren will be born almost 100 years later than that. In 2030 my kids will be 26, 22 and 21. That’s a worry!

So yesterday was a day of remembering what a special and lovely lady she was.


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