My Nan passed away a few weeks ago. She decided that she didn’t want to have a funeral. The last few family members that have passed away I have conducted the funeral and I have had to work out my own way of saying goodbye as I haven’t been able to attend the funeral like a normal guest. Conducting the funeral is a very different mind set. With the other funerals I’ve sat and wrote about them and looked at photos and thought a lot about what I would say. As it turns out I said a lot of the things that I sat down and wrote at our family get together, so that was a great way for me to share my memories.
I was thinking about my Nan’s life and all of the things that I remember about her and all of the things that she did. There are lots of things that I remember about Nan and always will. The first thing that came to mind was her sense of Family and her love for her own. There is never a moment I’ve doubted the love that she felt for any of her children, born of her or not, any Grandchildren, born of her children or not, or anyone she considered part of her family. The love was the same for all of us and it was endless.
I’ll always remember Nan’s love for people, always thinking about others, praying for someone, being on the phone supporting others. I remember my stepdad, Jimbo’s, running joke with Nan. For a while when they first moved to Merbein and the phone wasn’t connected yet, Nan couldn’t walk past a payphone. She would either need to use it or break into sweats of withdrawal!
Another huge thing was her love for animals, and their love for her. I cannot remember a time, or if it was it wasn’t for long, where she didn’t own an animal. It may have been hers and my Pa’s or one that they found or that found their way to Nan. I’ll always remember Nan with animals on her lap.
No one could really rival Nan’s love for shopping in my whole life and hers, I’m sure. Even when she was too sick to do much else, she would always find something nice in Millers.
Nan loved a good eye roll, a tut, and I got my love of the word ‘Strike’ from her. When I was chatting with other members of the family they don’t really remember her saying it. It’s funny as my sister and I say it all the time now, and remember hearing her say it a lot.
There are little things that I remember and I don’t know why. I remember when I stayed with Nan and Pa in Merbein and being introduced to the Phantom of the Opera. I remember the time that she purchased a brand new leather jacket that I thought looked so cool. I remember the time that for no reason she brought me a little trinket that says “a friend walks beside you” something that I always think of. I remember walking into the Mildura centre Plaza and being proud to see Nan at her job in Target.
I remember her always saying “God Bless”, at the end of a conversation, end of a visit, or in your birthday card.
The past week or so I’ve thought a lot about Nan’s wonderful life and all that she had done and I was reminded of one of my favorite quotes by Ralph Waldo Emerson.
‘To laugh often and much, to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children, to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends, to appreciate beauty, to find the best in others, to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition; To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded!’
Nan you succeeded, Strike you succeeded over and over again.