I want to share some memories of my Gran, who has sadly passed away one year ago today (3rd November 2015). She is an amazing lady, a one in a million with a complete heart of gold, she will be missed but in the least she has left many fond memories for us to cherish and share.
I remember Friday or occasionally Saturday being shopping day, back in the 80s it was Fine Fare. I would be picked up from school by my mum and Gran and we would go shopping, as an occasional treat we would go into the cafe and have a coffee before the shopping. I remember that Gran would have one side of the trolley and my mum would have the other. Fine Fare turned to Gateway and then ASDA and the routine remained. When Gran moved from Peterlee to Sunderland, the same routine also remained.
During my childhood, Saturday afternoon and evening was often spent at Gran’s; I remember the egg and tomato sandwiches, cakes, etc. We got together as a family, great times. The BBC Grandstand music and Pink Panther automatically take me back to teatime at Gran and Granddads.
Gran would go to church on a Sunday, she sang fantastic and did the occasional reading; she would tell us off if we fidgeted or laughed.
Gran loved her pets, she had dogs and cats for a long time, fond memories include Toby the black Labrador, Gypsy the Old English Sheepdog, Smoky the cat and many others. Gypsy being the one I remember the most because my mum and Gran had to cut her hair often.
In the mid 80s to early 90s, I spent holidays at a caravan park out in the countryside of County Durham, not far off Barnard Castle and Bishop Auckland. Plenty memories of going out to places, enjoying the countryside, having a barbecue, playing board games and having fun in the river.
I remember that Gran drove a car briefly, both my mum and Granddad had a red Yugo each and when Granddad could no longer drive, my Gran drove it briefly.
Around 2003 I went to Belgium and France and toured around the war memorials; it was fun going around, learning about history and having meals with my mum, dad, uncle and Gran.
I loved it when Gran came to visit, she would tell us stories and occasionally bring up a light hearted debate about issues she had seen on the TV or read about.
It was around 2005, perhaps earlier or later when Gran started to get forgetful, she would forget what she bought from the shops and mum would start to find the fridge stocked up with butter, bacon, milk that was going out of date.
As time went on the dementia increased until Gran needed to go into a care home so that she could be cared for and be comfortable. The place where Gran was cared for was amazing and she was looked after so well. I am so glad that she had her final days in comfort and warm in her bed.
Here is a video of Gran with some of her favourite music that she would either sing or listen to:
This hymn was sung at Gran’s funeral service: