Earlier last year, my grandad died after years of dementia, cancer and general aging. It was a sombre affair but I didn’t feel particularly emotional because I was never close with my grandparents and saw them rarely.
A couple of months after his death, my aunt put together a scrapbook of photos and other memorabilia from my grandad’s youth. And that’s when it hit me: this frail, grumpy old man was young once. He lived a long life with stories to tell; how he came to the UK from a foreign land during the war; how he met my grandmother at a local dance and fell in love; how they raised their kids who then went on to give him grandchildren; and how one day, the love of his life was taken from him. And there was I, sailing through life in ignorance of this amazing life of his. All his stories had died with him.
And so I decided: I will not allow myself to become a mere faded memory, an old lady who my grandchildren can never imagine was young once. I want to be a Memorable Mama, a Never-Forgotten Nana and a Great Grandma who the kids all miss when I’m gone! I want to be there for them, and I want them to feel glad at the end of it all that I was part of their lives.
Having kids gave me a sense of purpose that I never knew I was missing. I don’t always get it right but I hope that one day, I’m remembered for being the best Mama my girls could have had.