A Letter to My Nanna

Hiya Nan.

I dreamt of you again and woke up at 3.30. I lay there for an hour but thoughts of you lingered. I got up quietly at 4.30 but Darren noticed straight away. He asked where I was going and if I was okay. I told him I needed to write to you. The thing is, it’s driving me mad that we can’t see each other or even talk to each other right now.

If I could, I would call you. You know that. You have always told myself, Leah and Fern to get in touch with you whenever we need you, no matter what for, no matter what time. That is just the kind of selfless, caring soul that you are. We are just your granddaughters but you treat us like we’re the world. I have taken you up on your offer many times over the years. When I was a little girl, I would wake up in the still of the night and climb into bed for a cuddle with you. I have woken up from nightmares and called to check you are okay. In my school days, I would cry to you about boys and other trivial things. When I lived in Manchester, I would call to say that I missed you. My favourite calls were the ones where you’d say “guess where we are!” and you’d be outside our flat. We would spend the most perfect days together. How many times have I called to ask for your advice and your thoughts on random things, too? As for the amount of times that I’ve turned up to your house after a few too many drinks, to tell you how much you mean to me – well, I have honestly lost count.

Right now, I need you. My house feels so quiet without the blaring ring of the house phone. You’re the only person that ever calls it and I really do miss hearing it. I miss your voice beaming “hello baby” and asking me if I’ve got Dancing on Ice on, or if I’ve seen the second part of Corrie. I miss you telling me you’ve watched a film that I’d love – and then telling me the entire story, including the ending! I miss you asking me “what sort of a day have you had?” and if it’s been shit, finding something to laugh about with you. I miss how honest we are with each other and the fact that we can always confide. If you’re having a crap day, you tell me and I make it better. It’s the same either way. I miss you telling me how proud you are of me and everyone else in your life. I miss you singing and dancing. I miss you swearing. You are so funny, Nan. You make me cry with laughter. I miss us laughing together. I love it when you laugh. Especially at Darren. Nobody cracks you up like Darren does. It makes me so happy to see you howl with laughter at the things he says. I miss the little things, even knowing what you’re having for your tea. I hate not knowing what you’re eating. Are you enjoying it? Or are you hungry?

If you were home, I know you’d be having a roast, mince and mash, sweet chilli prawns or macaroni cheese. If you fancied something healthy, I would come and cook a stir fry for the four of us, because no matter how many times Grandad tries to make you one, you haven’t got the heart to tell him you prefer mine. If you fancied a takeaway, we’d share a beef curry with chicken fried rice and sweet and sour sauce. If we went out for a treat meal, you’d go for a fillet steak with chips. We’d definitely get ice cream as well. I know all of your favourite things. I know your fears too. I wonder if the nurses know your quirks yet – like how you absolutely hate frogs!

We couldn’t be any closer. We always talk. We always know what one another is up to. That’s why I can’t handle this. Yesterday, I walked past your house without walking in for the first time in my 28 years. Darren and I stood at the window and waved at Grandad. It made my heart hurt. You should be in there with him, watching TV and drinking endless amounts of tea. We should all be able to cuddle. Even Keefa rabbit looks sad. I’m sure she’s missing you shouting “Where’s Nanna’s baby?”. I don’t think anyone has ever adored a pet as much as you adore her. I hope you know how much everyone adores you. Seeing Grandad without you just isn’t right.

I would give anything for things to be back to normal. I wouldn’t even mind if you rang in the middle of the night to talk about Brexit again. Anything to hear your voice. Life feels so uncertain and unfamiliar without you there. Whenever anything notable happens, I want to tell you. You were the very first person that Darren and I called when we got engaged. I will never forget how happy and emotional you sounded at the other end of the phone. I couldn’t wait to get home and show you my ring. As for the morning of my wedding, “Is Nanna here yet?” are the first words I uttered to the family. I was desperate to see you. You are clearly the most important – to everybody. I cannot wait to see the excitement in your face when the time comes and you become a great grandmother. I look forward to me, Leah and Fern winding you up and telling you that we will all name our daughters Doris after you.

You’re my world, Nanna. If there’s one thing that keeps my mind at rest, it is that you know that. I tell you that I love you every single day. Just because I can’t physically say it to you right now, it doesn’t mean you don’t know it. I don’t know when I will next get to see you but I can’t wait. I will cherish everything about the moment – your soft embrace, your lovely perfume and the feeling that will set my heart back to normal. Until then, I hope you are okay. I hope you are smiling. That’s all I want.

I love you, always and forever.

Love, your Bex (or your Peachy Pie Petal Plum Cuddle Bum)

(… bye bye, woo, see ya – hopefully soon!)


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