While it must be said that I was always my grandfather’s child (and oh how I idolised him!), it was my grandmother, my nana, who has forever been the maternal glue in our family. When I stayed with them during my latter teens and first few years at varsity, it was my nana who made sure that a bowl of fruit salad and cup of coffee were delivered to my bedside at 6:30a.m. sharp, each and every morning. It was my grandmother who made the trip to the local bakery to get the freshest loaf of rye for the school lunchbox, and even in my early twenties, for my longer days at university. It was my grandmother who would whip up batch after batch of homemade mayonnaise because she knew how much I loved that particular recipe. And as I’ve matured over the years, I would have to say I have come to quietly idolise her from the sidelines too. She never expects much in the way of thanks, and never needs asking, to make sure that her family are safe and cared for in any way she can.
Some of us are lucky in this way, to have the chance to truly get to know our grandparents. In this I am so very fortunate, for it is a special kind of love. Whenever I listen to Bill Wither’s ‘Grandma’s Hands,’ I wonder what I’m going to do once she leaves this place to find a front seat in the life after. Who will make the Mickey Mouse pyjamas for me out of a fabric I found and had to have? Who will bring me the most gorgeous lemons from her neighbour’s tree because she knows how I use lemons in just about everything, from homemade hummus to tzatziki to ice tea? What will I do when I feel low and dejected, when she tells me all anyone can do is try their best, or simply to have a little nap and return to the task fresh and well-rested. Simple wisdoms. Common-sense even. But when they come from someone you love and admire, they hold an almost unshakeable comfort in their words. I think if anything, we will have to honour them, passing their wisdoms and assurances on to generations to come, when they are in need… Trying our own best as we can to fill the shoes that walked beside us for so very long, shoes that sometimes feel larger than life and beyond compare.
So, today I thought I might thank my nana, and all nana’s the world over. It would be a very long love letter indeed were I to thank her for all she has done for me. Instead, I will simply thank my nana for the gift of a beautiful wooden spoon. I had lost both my wooden spoons in a recent move and kept forgetting to purchase a new one when I went to the shops. One day, I mentioned this as I was preparing a meal for the two of us, lamenting my forgetfulness. The next day, my nana came to visit with an ornately patterned wooden spoon that now brings me such joy amongst my other coveted kitchen utensils. In fact, it has become my very favourite (even knocking my treasured pestle and mortar into second place)! And I shall treasure it for the rest of my life. xoxo