My beloved Grandmother died recently, and we had the funeral last week. I don’t have more words right now, so instead I would like to share with you the eulogy I wrote….
It’s the wording on a fridge magnet Grandma had for as long as I remember. A blue heart (why blue I will never know) with a thermometer in the middle. I assume that Mummy bought it when we were little as a gift for a birthday or Christmas. It is however incredibly fitting because she was the best at both.
A lot of my childhood memories are based in my Grandma’s kitchen. I think I must have spent hours in there with her. Not that there was ever much to do by the point we arrived. As you all know, she was the ultimate hostess and so the only bits left were the fun things like eating!
I actually have her 1947 cookbook. It is one of my most treasured possessions. She gave it to me when I was living in Bermuda, probably because I’d asked for her shortbread recipe for the thousandth time. It’s with me in Dubai now. I like to blame the different temperatures and humidity for nothing working out the same. But the simple fact is, no one can bake like she could… especially for a woman who didn’t even like sugar!
I remember standing watching her though. Peering on tip toes at what she was doing on the counter. I am sure she was making pastry of some kind. She gave me her rings so they didn’t get all grubby. I was the fanciest thing in that house for the rest of the day as I wouldn’t let them go again. It started a tradition (it probably started before, but I remember it as that day) that Charlotte and I could choose one item of her jewellery to wear for the time we were there.
It’s little things like that which made it so exciting. I have friends who used to dread seeing their grandparents. I never understood why. First there was the love. Then there was the cookies. Then there were these little things that always happened and made you feel special….
Like the Lucozade that she would serve as special wine with the Sunday roast. No adults could have it because it was far too precious and only for Charlotte and I.
Like recording opening the gifts on Christmas Day. Tapes that I think would break me if I tried to listen to them today, but that I would love to play for Nathan and Emily one day, so they can remember their Great-Grandma Trudy and Great-Granddad Ken too.
Like Mummy, Charlotte and I always having a perfume for Christmas, because a lady always needed a touch of Chanel as a little extra treat.
Like always giving us a little bit of chocolate smuggled into the car to snack on, on the way home. Similar to giving us a Rowntree’s Fruit Pastel per X miles (or X minutes in the case of heavy traffic) when we were on a journey so we wouldn’t mind how long was taking.
They are some of a multitude of little things that made my Grandmother so precious to me. Her unwavering love and support, even when I haven’t been entirely deserving of it, have made me the person I am today.
As when my Grandfather died, the family have been inundated with cards and messages, relating condolences and memories. The overriding word used for Granddad was “gentleman”. This time, for Grandma, it’s been “lady”. Now this elegant and wonderful couple have been reunited. That both makes me happy, but at a base and selfish level, very sad.
I am proud that I am part of their legacy, and will strive to live up to those standards… even when I know that I will never get those “Julie Biscuits” right as long as I live.
Thank you all so much for coming today to honour my Grandma, Trudy.