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Grandma Easby

I’m currently sat at Schiphol airport, Amsterdam awaiting the arrival of my flame haired travel companion Emma.

We are about to embark on a once in a lifetime adventure (which I am SERIOUSLY excited about) to Indonesia.  Blog posts will be plentiful I imagine so long as I can access power, which thanks to the wonderful man at System Restore UK and NOT thanks to UK Mail , should be possible (I won’t go into here because it will just annoy me and right now I feel like I’m floating on air and nothing is going to spoil that).

I just did a happy little sat-down-dance to myself (a ‘selfie-dance’ if you will – no stick required) whilst sat by myself, grinning at myself, at Dakota’s Restaurant Bar & Grill. It’s quite a cute vista as airport views go, with flights floating in and out behind the KLM cityhopper as kids mill in and out in an ant-trail. I am happy inside. I’ve been dealt a good hand and I’m embracing it, no holes barred. As I said to someone this morning. I feel like might just be the luckiest girl in the world (well apart from my friend Lucky Kate who takes that accolade every time. Love you Kate).

I am sipping the most delicious beer and have woofed down an incredible burger with pickles (including yellow wrinkley skinned pickled onions on the top. Who knew? Yum).  I’m probably about to pay 20 euros for the privilege but I don’t care. Life is good.

It wasn’t the best start to the year for my family and there is a sadness which remains and will stay deep within our hearts. It will always be there. But it will not stop us living life to it’s brimming fullness: if anything, it’s all the more important to do so. We’re holding each others’ hands even as we travel across continents and through our separate intricately connected lives.

A less sad and more welcome grief (if that doesn’t sound a bizarre thing to say), came with my Grandma’s death last month. But I – and my many cousins, aunts, uncles, siblings, parents and friends – cannot be anything but happy that this most wonderful lady –  although no longer physically with us – was such a centrifugal force in all of our lives.

I want to share her with you, before I coast on with the rest of life-and-everything. Because I feel like everyone should be lucky enough to experience her in their lives. I’ve been debating the prudence…and the ethics..of this, but I want to share the words I wrote for her before she slipped into a new place. I hope it doesn’t seem indulgent. But words are my way. And – as I said – I just feel the need to share her with you. She was such a truly wonderful lady. The bells rang out for her 93 times for her at St Gregory’s in Bedale the day after she died – something she never thought would happen. There is a strict criteria. Unbeknownst to her, she ticked every box. Such a humble soul.


My dearest brilliant Grandma,

When Dad asked if we had anything we would like to say to you, I didn’t feel I could send a quick reply. The main reason is that I have so much I’d like to tell you that putting it in a quick message seems impossible.

You have taught and given me so much without even knowing it.

Because of you I understand the value of presents that don’t cost money: an all consuming cuddle; tears of uncontrollable laughter shared with family (even if you’re too young to understand what the laughter is about); a glass of sherry as you cook Sunday dinner; sleep overs with a dozen cousins in a long dormitory; that game with the stacking painted sticks; rolling painted eggs down a hill; climbing trees and playing lions in the long long grass; the value of £20 to stop me biting my nails and the other £20 which never arrived (because I had to keep on not biting them).

The presents you gave us didn’t cost (although there was a pair of green wellies that materialized once) but they are worth more than all the money in the world. I’m so proud to be the granddaughter of a strong, practical, loving, entirely sensible woman and like to think that although I’m no way your exact copy, I have inherited some of your best bits.

Friends come to me when they have problems, I listen well, have sensible – some might even say wise – advice. I make a good friend and I have lots: more than just a special handful, just like you.

I’m able to keep a level head and an eye to the things that really matter even in the most challenging of situations. I know that “if a job is worth doing, it’s worth doing properly” and I have this work ethic which more suited to the 1940’s than 2016.

I can entertain just with a story of something that happened last week. I know how to have fun in the simplest ways, know how to laugh deep from my stomach and look people straight in the eye. I’m honest, loyal and always see the best in people and a situation. I’m independent: someone called me a strong minded woman the other day. I hadn’t thought of it like that, but I suppose it’s true and when I think about you, it makes perfect sense.

I love making things from nothing, but my first and favourite creations when I was little (shell woman, stain glass flower, traced owl) were all the better because I made them for you. Small gifts compared to what you have given me: you are such a strong part of the woman I am today.

I don’t know how to thank you but I hope you know how much I love you and know that wherever you are, I always hold you tightly in my heart.



2 Comments Post a comment
  1. How lovely dawn. What a wonderful grandma and a beautifully written tribute to her. Xxx

    May 29, 2016
  2. Andy #

    Beautiful post Dawn

    May 29, 2016

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