Well this post has certainly been a long time coming! I was hoping to get it up for Nana's first anniversary on January 19th but unfortunately ended up sick that week and barely did anything; much less contend with tech issues standing in the way of this post! So at long last, here it is.
It has now been over a year since Nana's passing on the morning of January 19, 2016. It's hard to believe she's been gone that long already. When I scroll through the messages on my phone, her name is still there. When I finally found a job, and then a second one, soon after her passing, I thought I would call and tell her; then realised I couldn't. I bought the complete set of a series of movies we had been watching together, but she wasn't there to see the last ones with me. When I'm cooking ad run into a problem, she isn't there to call quickly for a solution. When the year was just about over, it seemed strange not to make her a new photo calendar of the Auckland grandchildren.
I don't know anyone else who could knit as fast or as well as Nana. Admittedly she didn't fix the odd mistake -- she would undo the whole piece and re-knit it correctly within the evening. My dad tells stories of ripping jumpers she made on the fences he jumped as a boy, and saying it was fine because she would just fix it that night! All of us have worn cardigans she made for us; and the length of some indicates the patterns were adjusted to fit me ;P haha. She made me a knitted version of Po, the red teletubby. Until her arthritis became too painful, it seemed like she always had her knitting bag with her. I remember her being somewhat put out when she wasn't allowed to take her scissors on a flight to visit us. Thankfully they were easy enough to replace. ;)
I love that someone thought to get the above photo (bottom left) of Nana with her scones. It seems she was well known for them; at her funeral a number of people mentioned memories of them. I remember gatherings around the fireplace; tea, coffee, and scones all around, with more extended family or friends than I could remember names for. (I was young guys, come on!) Dad has talked a fair bit about her scones, and encouraged us to try our hands at them and continue the legacy; but it seems no matter how hard we try ours will never be as good as "Nana's Scones"!
When I was little we visited Nana and Grandad in Wellington fairly regularly I think. I remember arriving at their house late in the afternoon and getting fish and chips for dinner, or arriving much later and trying to watch Chitty Chitty Bang Bang when we couldn't keep our eyes open. Or visiting at Easter, and eating chocolate until we felt sick. Or exchanging gifts with everyone on Christmas morning. Or "riding" Simpson, their golden retriever, when we were *very* little. Watching movies and talking with Nana late into the night. Trying to navigate her new phone for her. Admiring her jewellery collection. Planting her new rosebushes for her. Preparing dinner with her . . . and wondering how to cook for only two people when I was visiting her alone. ;P Shopping and eating lunch out together. (The origin of my coffee shop addiction *cough*)
I remember when I was really little Nana, Grandad, and I would all go down to the mall together to get lunch. It seemed like Grandad new people EVERYWHERE he went, and inevitably it took a while to actually get to the cafe after leaving the car; Nana and I would slowly ease towards the cafe while Grandad was still in conversation, hoping we wouldn't have to stay hungry for too much longer! In later years Nana's friend Yvonne would take us, or Aunty Melissa, or on Nana's last visit to Auckland just the two of us, since I had my full license by then.
For the last couple of months Nana was in hospital; preparations were being made to move her to a rest home once she was up to it. Through this time she wasn't able to keep in touch. I was actually home alone while my family was on holiday for the last couple weeks, and I remembered back to the last time I had stayed home from a family trip--Nana had called me every day: to chat, to make sure everything was okay, or just so I heard from someone. It seemed a little strange at times not to be expecting a call from her this time.
I flew to Wellington the day prior to her funeral and spent the morning and afternoon with family and went for a walk, then dinner with all the extended family in the evening before going for a viewing. The funeral itself brought back so many memories from Grandad's one a little over 10 years earlier. To be honest it felt to me like reliving the same day again, only without Nana.
This post has been a long time in the making, and honestly it's still hard to know what to say. A lot of people loved Nana and made good memories with her. She is and will continue to be greatly missed.