Saturday, 22 August 2009

Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore

Sweeney's great-grandmother, the indomitable Alice Grace Godwin, aka Granny, has died. We love her a lot and we're pretty sad about this in our house. She was Sweeney's dad's grandmother, his mother's mother, and if she'd kept on for a few more weeks, she would've been 94. There's nothing shabby about 93, though.
Some points to note about Granny:
  • she got her house painted last year, and toddled off to the bakery every morning to provide morning and afternoon tea for the painters. They were rightly chuffed;
  • her grandchildren have always been in awe of her;
  • she lived in her own house, on her own, until just a few weeks ago;
  • she adored her grandchildren and her great-grandchildren;
  • her grandchildren and her great-grandchildren adored her;
  • she always asked if I was busy at work. I always said yes;
  • she loved puzzles, crossword and otherwise. Martin and I used to take out a Golden Kiwi Crossword when we visited her;
  • she demonstrated outrageous selective hearing. I'd be near-hoarse with projecting my voice to her from an inch away, and she'd not hear me. Martin would be across the room and say something hilarious under his breath and she'd snicker away to herself;
  • she wasn't a chatter, but she liked a good giggle;
  • she was always up for a cuddle with Sweeney.
I can't say that I knew her terribly well, but I thought the world of her, partly because I saw how Martin and his family, and her loyal clutch of friends, thought the world of her. I admired how she was an amalgam of sweet and steely. One of the worst things about Martin's death, apart from the death itself, was seeing Granny and realising she couldn't hide how hard this was on her.
These two deaths have made me hope that there is actually an afterlife where people are relieved of the Cares of the World. I think these two could do with a bit of relief, and they always liked each other's company.
Anyway, here's my favourite picture of her. It was taken while she was recuperating at the Home of Compassion, from her umpteenth hip replacement, when Sweeney was about 7 months old. Martin and I sat back and watched the two of them play and giggle together for ages.
It was awesome.


Catherine and clan said...

You summed her up well Angela. Granny was pretty special and as her only granddaughter we had a special bond. I'm going to miss her muchly. Great speaking to you and see you Wednesday. Catherine and clan

Nana's Lady said...

She looks wonderful in the photo and sounds equally wonderful in description...really reminds me of my own Nana. As Mr. Rogers says, "There is a thin veil between this world and the next." I like to believe there is an afterlife too, and that we can feel our loved one's fingertips just behind that veil.

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