My blog posts have been rather sparse over the past few months as I have been extremely focused looking after my dear Mum who sadly lost her fight to the terrible illness that is breast cancer some six weeks ago.
Not wishing to dwell on this sadness I wanted to dedicate this blog to her and the wonderful world of Grandma's.
My Mum, Grandma Elaine took on a completely new role in my life when I first announced I was pregnant some 9.5 years ago. Already a Grandma 4 years earlier when my nephew arrived she was very nervous throughout each pregnancy and she would tell anyone she met that she was an expectant Grandma. She took on her role of Grandma/maternity carer most seriously being there for my Sister and I each time. She looked after our older children while we were giving birth and prepared small meals when we came home from hospital so as not to overwhelm us. She washed and cooked for us and loved rocking a crying newborn to sleep whilst singing "Ai la loo" - a song she invented for them all.
As her grandchildren grew up she had time for each and every one of them. She knew all of their after school activities down to the time and location, she knew what made each of them tick. She carried photos of them all with her in her wallet and she was never shy to show them to friends, acquaintances or strangers.
Grandma Elaine never lived close by to our family. She lived in Sheffield but a few years ago they bought an appartment round the corner so when they came to stay they took over school pick ups and generally helped me out. Two years ago my parents retired abroad to live close to the sea and to my sister and her kids. They moved back for 2 months for the arrival of A&E and when A&E were 6 months old we spent a month living with them in their new home abroad.
My Mum was the centre of our family and felt it her duty to keep herself up to date with her daughters and all her grandchildren. If I phoned her one morning to say boy in the middle wasnt well, wherever she was or whatever she was doing she would call back later in the day to see how he was doing.
She had a special knack in always choosing the perfect dresses for her granddaughters and nothing gave her greater pleasure in the past 18 months in choosing two coordinating dresses for A&E.
She had plenty of time for cuddles, she loved reading stories to the kids and telling them wonderful stories of her childhood such as "Uncle Stephen and the sugar" whilst spooning in food and persuading them to eat. She sat through dire ballet shows, choral recitals and school plays and delighted in anything her grandchildren did.
All her eight grandchildren totally adored her and she will always hold a very important place in all of their hearts. I lost my Grandma (my Mum's Mum) when I was 13 and because my Mum kept her memory very much alive she was and still is an important role model in my life. I promise that Grandma Elaine will remain a key figure for my children throughout their lives.
There really is no one quite like Grandma. And here is Grandma 'Laine with my Dad surrounded by their 8 "chickens" in June this year.