Heritage Part 2
The other differences in my grandparents was this. When visiting my Anglo-Saxon grandparents, we would go out to the “Workshop” to visit my granddad in his office where he ran his Construction company, he started it way back in the mid-sixties.
I recall when I was young, going into his office and playing with his letter opener. It was a sword in its own scabbard. (Something he picked up on a holiday overseas) These grandparents were travelers. My father worked for my grandfather.
When we visited them at home, I recall getting out of the car and racing ahead, we would go through the garage, between the two cars there, inside the door that took us inside and walked down into the kitchen. Some days the smell of Linseed oil and Turps would greet us. Going down to the kitchen/dinning room and Nanna would be at the dinning room table with her white china and oils spread out around her. She was a woman of creative habits.
Set days, she would bake, others she would play nine holes of golf, others go to her fine bone china painting group or do her afternoon of painting at home or sewing.
If my grandfathers purple (aubergine) Datsun was in the garage, it meant he was home. We would check for him in his office and he would hug us and let us stand on his feet, while he walked us around some. (until we got too big).
In comparison, my granddad was the affectionate one, my Nanna was very grumpy and she wasn’t even very old. My Nanna was riddled with cancer. On one visit (I might have been six?) I let myself in the garage door and because mum had insisted, we knock, Nanna had, had some surgery to remove lumps of cancer from the inside of her legs (one thigh, one calf). In case she was resting, I knocked, she came down and let us in and as she walked ahead of me towards the living room area down the hallway, light filtered down, her thin cotton skin rather see through with the light coming from the windows down into the hallway. I would clearly see the huge chunks taken out of her legs. They were cut out back to the bone. I recall thinking that if they were both the same part of her legs, you could kick a soccer ball down the hall and it would pass straight through.
There are several things about this memory, 1) I was not into soccer. 2) They really weren’t big enough for a soccer ball and 3) Is this wrong? Or can I be forgiven because I was only a child? Note the preference in those three.
Cancer was a theme with this Nanna. She eventually had a brain tumour and the last time I recall seeing her, mum was in the kitchen doing dishes looking out the window towards the sink and I asked where Nanna was? I was told to go sit with her in the lounge.
She was wearing her dressing gown sitting on the couch. I sat and asked her if I could get her anything? She did want something, but couldn’t think what it was called. I asked her what colour it was? Trying to help her a little, turning it into a game. I don’t know if I knew at the time how serious it was, but I handled her gently, trying to help her.
She got more and more grumpy and frustrated, eventually she got up and I followed her to the fridge in the kitchen. She opened the door, then her crisper and pulled out an orange. Grrr.
You can appreciate her frustration, right?
She passed away at only fifty-eight.
More to write, just hit pause.