This morning, this strong, feisty, beautiful woman passed away. There are so many things I'm going to miss about her.. her relentless advice giving. Her inability to get anyone's name right the first time... "Leanne, erm Julie.. no Doreen". Her circular stories where you'd have absolutely no idea who she was talking about by the end of it so she'd have to tell it all over again... her raised eyebrow with a wary "hmmmm"... her complete and unconditional love for her family. And the fact that even though she was pretty much completely blind she could still spot a crack in your boyfriends windscreen or tell you that you needed to loose a few pounds.
My Nan was amazing. Her life was unbelievably hard and yet she never gave up. She never got down. She got on with it. She cared deeply for others and never, ever put herself first.
I regret so much that I didn't get to say goodbye. That I was "too busy" to see her more... I should have made more time for her. She deserved it... Right now I'm trying to hold on to the nuggets of wisdom she gave me. Trying to remember how her voice sounded... I wish I'd recorded her... she had some stories to tell. I'm so glad that the one thing I do have of her is photographs.
Last year, I spent the day with her and my camera, just snapping her in her home.. perhaps subconsciously I knew she wouldn't be with us much longer.
Today I went looking for one photo of her. I couldn't find one. There wasn't just one photo that could possibly summarise her. Instead I have a whole load of photos... various expressions, whilst I tried to coax a smile out of her. Some blurry, some badly lit. But all her.