Leah & Granny

This is the last pic I have of my Granny and I together, taken just before Christmas. She sadly passed away in March, and as I mentioned in my 15 Facts, I think about her every day.

Granny is the first person I think of when asked who has had the biggest impact on me.

Iris Leah & Leah

I was named after her (Granny’s name was Iris Leah) and I always felt we had a super special relationship. In saying that, one of the things I admire the most about her is that she had that super special relationship with every single one of her grandchildren. My 3 cousins, my brother and I always knew how much she loved us – which is probably why life is just a little bit less shiny for us all now.  

My brother and I with Granny

I sent Granny a card for her birthday in December last year, and in it I wrote all the things I admired and loved about her: she was strong, a fighter, a matriarch, she held our family together, she spent time with each of us, listening to us, being active in our lives, telling us she loved us.

She was always interested – she knew the names of our friends, boyfriends, teachers and she always asked about them. She came to our birthdays, my 21st, she even checked herself out of hospital to attend my cousins wedding!

At my 21st

She always had lollies for us when we were little. She used to slip us money when Dad wasn’t looking. She had toys for when we visited kept under the stairs. She climbed Mt Paku with us. She swam with us. She sent us cards. She phoned us. She was even my cousins flatmate for a while! 

So many of my achievements can be attributed to Granny – I wanted to make her the proudest Granny in the country. The hardest thing I had to do this year was sit down a week after she passed away and write my award entry – but I did that for her, because I knew that she would be the proudest angel ever.

Our Granny xxx

Granny helped shaped us and was a huge impact on us – on me.  

The end was awful and drawn out and hard on us all, and Hospice were amazing. It brought our family closer, and once again Granny is to thank for that! When we finally farewelled her, we put our hands together and cheered “Go Granny Go!” – the most fitting send off for an amazing, strong, go getter woman. I can only hope that I grow up to be just as wonderful as she was, and someday I get to be a Granny just like her.

This is my favourite photo of Granny, taken the morning after my 21st – she came out of her bedroom in her dressing gown with an Apple Martini in her hand. Now that is class!

Apple Martini anyone?

Every time I have sat down to write this I have gotten teary and choked up – so I think I will leave it there. I have had issues dealing with (or not dealing with) grief this year, and so sharing just this little bit about such a wonderful woman that meant so much to me has been quite therapeutic.

R.I.P Granny, you are missed every single day. Arohanui, Leah.

I thought of you with love today but that is nothing new
I thought about you yesterday and days before that too,
I think of you in silence I often speak your name
All I have are memories and your picture in a frame
Your memory is my keepsake with which I’ll never part
God has you in His keeping. I have you in my heart.