What it feels like…to lose Nana and Granddad

By Cassie Kennedy.

I miss them both every single day.

Growing up, I don’t have a memory without my Nana and Granddad, their presence so intertwined, I don’t know where the memories begin or where they end, all I know is that all my life, they have been a part of me.

One my first memories is of running from Nana’s back door across the square to my Great Granny Betsy’s, moving so fast, my shine of my black patent Mary Jane’s blinkered in the sun as she watched over me.

Growing up, I spent most Fridays with my Nana, drinking hot chocolate and watching Dynasty and then the Golden Girls, memories so full of love and laughter that when I hear the theme tune to either, I go back to being 9 years old again.

My nana was unique and I’ve never met anyone quite like her. She was a strong lady confident in expressing her opinions, a trait my Granddad handled admirably, by waiting for her to finish speaking then asking, “Are you done?” She was proud of her family history, always sharing stories of her “Granny at the Toll” referring to the ancestral home in the West Wemyss. She loved people and always used their full name when including them in a story. She was always well turned out with a plethora of rings and brooches. She shared her love of musicals with The Sound of Music and Seven Brides for Seven Brothers to the point where I know the words to every song. She was generous, loyal and there was never a moment of our loves that we doubted her fierce love for us.

To address the balance my Granddad was the exact opposite and I think of him every day, always with a smile. He was a gentleman, with quiet ways. Always dressed immaculately, he never left home without a cloth handkerchief, his pocket cap ‘bunnet’ and a packet of Weathers Originals. Since I was a little girl, he affectionately called me ‘cuddles’ in testament to my tactile nature. He lived for his golf, never missing tee off time and when my Dad wanted to place a commemorative bench at his golf club, we could only place it near the 6th hole, where he got his only hole in one. He was modest, admitting, when prompted, that he’d won a medal for bravery during World War Two, saying “I lost a lot of friends” only for us to find two medals after he passed away and in my whole life I never once heard him utter a bad word about anyone.

And it was this difference in personality that seemed that made them so close. I remember popping in for a cup of tea and Granddad was hanging about the back door, boiling the kettle whilst watching for my Nana to return from one of her epic day trips with the community to a shopping destination in Scotland, only settling down when she appears at the back gate.

Since we lost them, Granddad six years ago and Nana just two years, it seems as though my life has been split into two parts, the one before and the one after and although I cant see them I feel them around me every single day.

I had many conversations with my Nana but the one that is so vivid for me lately is one that took place just just before she passed away. When she asked about my book, The Kinship Chronicles® nodding and smiling as I told the story and she talked about how she wanted to see it. Now, with its release, I hope that Nana and Granddad are proud of me as I always was of them.

If we are lucky in life, we have a champion. A family member or a friend who believes in us so deeply they can’t fathom anything outside our celebration and our success.

That is what Nana and Granddad were for me and everything I did, including running across the square, was celebrated.

Not surprisingly, I write about them; their personalities so interwoven within my psyche that my imagination can’t help but explore the possibilities.

And whenever I have moments of doubt, I feel Nana’s hand at my back pushing me forward and I see my Granddad smiling at me, as he always did.

Now, moving forward, I feel so, so lucky to be their granddaughter.

But I still miss them.
Evelyn & Andy Young

Loved by All

Together at Last

Cassie Kennedy is an Author, blogger and storyteller. Her debut novel The Kinship Chronicles® is available now to pre-order. Cassie Kennedy’s website and the link to her book.