Sunday, 22 December 2013

Merry Christmas, Granny...

3 years ago today we buried the last remaining member of my immediate family who hadn't been lost to addiction.  The last remaining member of my family who was there for me with a hug, with a kind word, with $20 for a meal when times were tight and never asked for anything but a hug back.
The last time I saw you was October 12 2010, we visited you in hospital for your birthday. As far as I knew you were going home in the next few days.

No one thought to tell me that you never went home. No one thought I should know that you were still in hospital until I got a call mid december from the doctor telling me that we should come and see you.
I had thought it was the same as your birthday, partially because the doctor didn't make it seem urgent at all and partially because no one told me how bad it was or that you had been in hospital all that time.
I made plans to go and see you the following monday while the kids were at childcare, as it was a 2 hour round trip.

I never made it down to see you.

Sunday afternoon the phone rang. And as I collapsed in a blubbering mess on the stairs my housemate's girlfriend called for him and pried the phone out of my hands.

2 days before Christmas she drove me the hour long trip to attend your funeral.

I had never particularly liked her, and we never truly got along, but right then it didn't matter, she was needed so she acted.

She dropped me at the funeral home telling me to call when I needed and I met up with family.

My mother sat stonily in the front row with my brother, my father and I, her antipsychotics making it impossible for her to express her emotions; for all the world knew, she didn't know her mother was in that casket, or didn't care.

My brother was next to her, sunglasses on, even inside, not looking anywhere but at the Australian flag they'd hung over her casket showing that she served our beautiful country in her youth, even though she was born and raised in Britain.

My father and I held each other and we sobbed together. It was the closest I've ever felt to my father, and also the last time I have seen him. Oh he still lives, he just don't care about anyone except himself and his wine.

Merry Christmas Granny.

I'm sorry I never said goodbye, I'm sorry that you withered away in hospital for 2 months without me even knowing.

I'm sorry that you only ever met your eldest great-grandchild.

Thank you for always having a bed to sleep in when the violence erupting at home got to be too much, thank you for always having a gift for my brother and I to open for our birthday or Christmas, sometimes they were the only gifts we got.
Thank you for the hugs, and for loving so fully. Thank you for loving us, even if you didn't always agree with us.

I miss you.
Merry Christmas Granny. <3

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