My Nanna died on the 14th May this year, yesterday was her funeral. It was all very sudden, yes she was 83 (Would have been 84 last Thursday) but she was in pretty good health. She had an aneurysm that burst after a fall. She was in hospital when it happened having her wrist plastered up. She was laughing and joking with the doctors moments before and her last words were “I’ve had a happy life.”
I’m glad to say I’d seen her the night before, laughed and joked with her a bit. I am so glad we went to visit her that Sunday night. So today I’m sharing with you the poem I wrote to read out at the funeral. I’ll then fill you in on some of the events I mention in there so you can join in with the laughter. My Nanna wouldn’t want us to just cry when we remember her, she’d want us to laugh and to smile. She was a great believer in always smiling. She always said she’d laugh if her arse was on fire.
She would have done, too. She was like that.
Remembering the laughs
I remember back when I was little and you’d put Boney M on the record player.
We’d dance around to ‘by the rivers of Babylon’ and you’d wave your elbows back and forth then spin me round and round and round.
There’s the time you burnt the roast potatoes on Christmas day.
There’s photographic evidence of that I’ve heard.
And watching the silly mens on a Sunday, generations of us laughing at Compo and co.
I’ll recall your little catchphrases often to mind.
“Would you like some mustard on that, Johnny?”
“Is it Tingly, Kev?”
“Half and half.”
I wasn’t there but I heard that you accidentally following that fellow into the mens room at little chef was quiet funny. You always told that tale with a smile.
Then there’s the other tales you told with a smile which are definitely too saucy to repeat at a funeral but they made strangers cackle with joy.
How you cherished your childhood and the happiness you found there, the tales of your own children growing up. Pickled onions, lost shoes and monkies I recall.
Then there’s Peach talc, coconut ice and Boyes department store in Scarborough Or raspberry yoghurts, proper hankies, hot custard and big knickers.
And the buttons, pretty buttons and bows.
They’ll always remind me of you.
‘Toasting’ your coat in front of the fire on cold winters nights before you left mums. The same coat week in, week out even though you had enough in your wardrobe to wear a new one every month. Don’t get me started on the shoes.
Our trip along the Rhine, blunt darts, red wigs and Wolfgang on keyboards.
The ever patient patient for grandchildren and great grandchild. Never complaining. Well okay, complaining but only in jest, as the cold plastic stethoscope hit your warm chest.
I’ll miss you Nanna you’re gone and there’s no changing that,
But I will always remember fondly the laughs.
So let me explain a few things.
“Is it Tingly, Kev?” came from my wedding day. Nanna was checking up on my wedded name and in true Nanna fashion got it hilariously wrong.
Peach talc was a nanna thing. From Marks and Spencer of course and she was devastated when they stopped stocking it. However, I still have two tins in my bedroom and Nanna had six in her bathroom, so she’d been stockpiling it, bless her.
The year before my Granddad died we all went on holiday together to Germany. We went by coach and we had a lovely time. The red wig came out one night at the hotel and everyone had a go at wearing it, even Nanna. The blunt darts were…blunt and Wolfgang was the hotel owner who would play his keyboard everynight for people to dance to.
The following photo is from that holiday, I’m in the blue coat, my sister is holding the fake snake and my Nanna is…cleaning. :)
And finally here’s a photo of my Nanna doing one of the things she loved best. Playing. She loved to play with me and my sister when we were little and Boo too. This is Nanna being the doctor for a change with my daughter (her Great Granddaughter) being the patient. Usually Nanna would be the patient. Or the customer at the hairdressers or the shop.
She’d always ask for a pound of backward beetroot.