Every Christmas for the past few years, my Grandmother Hazel came to the family party and gave her speech. Every year she announced "This will be my last Christmas." "Ha ha" said everyone, "That's a good one Grandma"
Sadly, Hazel didn't make it to the party this year.
Early this morning Grandma passed away, peacefully in her sleep. She was 97 and still as sharp as a tack. It was only her body that was failing her, in particular her eyesight and hearing. A recent fall and a broken pelvis signalled the beginning of the end.
I saw her on Saturday, on the way to the party, knowing that this year she could not make it. We called into her Nursing Home, unsure how she would be, and if she would be sedated, or even know who we were. She was asleep when we arrived, and we debated whether or not we should go in, wondering if she would get anything out of our visit. She started to stir, as we stood in the doorway. I went in and kneeled next to her bed. Despite her failing eyesight, she looked right at my face and asked me "Why are you looking so frightened, when it's me lying here in the bed?" Her sharp wit never left her.
I told her that I loved her, as I bent down to kiss her goodbye.
I will never forget the beautiful smile that she gave me.
Merry Christmas, Grandma, say hi to Pop for me xx