My Grandmother passed away a couple of weeks back, the funeral was held recently. It was pretty darn sad to see that someone so lovely had such a small turnout for her final goodbye. When you get really old I suppose many of your friends and family do die off before you, then when you become unable to go out people do drift away over the years.
I have great memories of my Grandma (and Grandpa), we had such fun together. One of the most prominent memories I have about Grandma is that she always used to have a twinkle in her eye, she was always pleased to see us and was ready to have a giggle. She would be happy to get stuck in with anything and I never remember her getting cross or grumpy. Firm but fair, yes but never angry or disagreeable.
The nicest thing about my Grandma was that she never seemed to outwardly judge anyone, the amount of times I can recall her saying something to the effect of “everyone is different and it's a good job too or the world would be a pretty boring place” which of course is very true and from my perspective a particularly unusual viewpoint of someone of her generation.
There was one time when I was about 14 and Grandma was telling us about all the sights and sounds of somewhere she'd been and she meant to say they had a juggler in the shopping centre but instead said gigolo which made us roar with laughter when she realised her mistake!
Grandma never told me I was getting fat, nor criticised anything I said or did. She always asked after what I was getting up to, was interested in everything going on but never demanded any details like they were her right to know.
She was always a busy person, pottering about with odd jobs and even arthritis didn't have much luck slowing her down. Although it must have made things difficult she never let it drag her down or used it as a (valid) excuse for not doing things, she just quietly went about her business as she had always done.
Sadly, over the past few years Grandma was set upon by dementia which at first was just forgetfulness but towards the end seemed more like a total timewarp for her, with little to no idea about times. On a visit before Christmas I spent a while with her, painting her nails and chatting but only an hour later she had no memory of seeing me at all. The same happened with someone else, only five minutes after they left. So sad.
The lady I remember as my Grandma was the bright and sprightly one who only faded over the last four or so years. She had expressed how she just wanted to pass away in her sleep, which wasn't as soon as she'd hoped but at least the bad times for her weren't too drawn out.
It's still sad to say that final goodbye.
The picture is one of mine from last year that won a prize in a local photography competition.