Friday, 21 November 2014

A hook to remember

I had drawn a blank when it came to this weeks theme ..... until yesterday.

I received news that no-one welcomes. My Gran had passed away. Although she reached the grand age of 91 and had been ill for a couple of years after having a stroke, I was still unprepared.

Quite a character, robustly built and spoke with an air of someone who was well to do (in a very good Hyacinth Bucket kind of way), she would always be gallivanting off on some adventure or other. She travelled to Australia in her 80's to visit her friend, took coach trips all over the country, regularly enjoyed selling knick-knacks at flea markets and car boot sales. She was on the committee for the oldies club and would volunteer at a local museum as a guide. Jaunts out in her car to see family and friends further afield from her Yorkshire home would keep her occupied in between. My Gran, who had never passed a driving test - only able to drive because of Grandfather rights from the second world war when she had been a land girl driving tractors - was a bit of a terror on the roads, no one really liked to be a passenger in her car. It was too scary! She took my brothers and I to stately homes when we visited for the weekend and we would always have a picnic afterwards, usually with sandwich fillings that we didn't like. But we didn't mind. We got to spend the day exploring somewhere new, fresh air in our lungs and running off energy in the grounds of wherever we were. This is how I will remember her. Always on the go, doing something, never wasting a moment.

Of course, after her stroke she couldn't move. Incapacitated, you could see the frustration in her eyes, and as time went on she became almost belligerent. I can't say that I blame her. I do however feel for my Dad, who cared for her at her home.

The hook, the hall, it's all still there:

In the cupboard in the hall,
the hook still holds your coat
that has travelled far and wide
on adventures belying your age.
The plastic runner
still protects your carpet
as it always has,
from the myriad pairs of shoes
that have passed 
across your doorstep.
The living room stuffed with furniture;
a suite, sewing machines, cabinets, a piano
(built by an relative years before),
porcelain plates polkadot the magnolia
on picture rails overhead.
Every inch of surface has an ornament,
a keepsake,a photo, a memory.
Your prized Jasper cheese plate
with beautiful domed lid
stands pride of place on the piano.
It was only for show.
Your kitchen is still as it has been for more years
than I can remember,
never changing.
The pens, pencils, scraps of paper and envelopes
await your attention on the windowsill
right next to the phone.
It's all here Gran,
all that's missing
is you.

Thanks for reading. x



Jen@thecraftingfiend said...

Lovely tribute Louise. I only had the pleasure of meeting Gran once but I'm so glad I got to. Remarkable woman.

Louise Barklam said...

Hi Jen!

Thank you for that. She was indeed. She loved it when she went over to see you and Paul.

Love to you all. Xxx