The Love Of My Life

❤ ~ Gammi, Gammy, Gami, Grammie, Grammy, Grams, Mammy, MeMa, Meema, Nan, Nana, Nanna, Ona, Onna, Bomma, Jiddah, Pog, Yaya, Bibi, Babushka, Nonna, Tutu, Kuku, Grand-mère, Bunica, Lola, Yeay, Oba-chan, Sobo, Awa, Savta, Maimeó, Avó, Abuela, Halmoni, NaiNai ~ ❤

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Words…

I really wanted to say something today.

This Remembrance ceremony has been in the works since my Nanny’s funeral the 5th January of this year. I would have thought it’d be a “no-brainer” to find words to speak at this beautiful woman’s interment. It would be fitting as I’m “Number One” of the fourteen grandchildren. I keep a journal at my bedside, in my purse and here, on the coffee table where I bang out all these words everyday. Nothing came. Not a damn thing.

I dreamed dreams. I dreamed of an auburn-haired girl of about six, running through a field of yellow daffodils, in pursuit of a slightly older auburn-haired girl under a brilliant blue sky. I ran after them but I was who I am now and even though I called after the younger, she didn’t hear me. She never turned away from the giggling chase of her older sister, even when I called to her in Welsh, which I don’t speak…

Just last week, I told my Mum that no, I wouldn’t be doing a reading and it’s fair to say that the complications of PTSD and the Agoraphobia that can be crippling at times, factored into my decision. Even in the loving arms of my family, I am painfully aware of the ADD that trips my tongue, colours my cheeks and has me antsy and feverish and in other situations, caused an unkind assessment of my drinking habits! … I couldn’t do it. Not even for Nanny. I knew she’d get it and the family too.

Poequote Holland Death Is Nothing

There were words… Of course there were. I’m a writer, a poet. I count my leanings that way and my singing voice as being some of the gifts from this branch of my family tree. I just couldn’t grab hold of them long enough to shape them in ink on the page… or have keystrokes capture them, as it were. I was frustrated by this. This should be a simple task, to say what my Grandmother meant to me and frustration turned to chagrin. I could turn out blog posts and Instagram nonsense but nothing meaningful for today.

This morning as I lay in bed, the air was warm and heavy and redolent with the scent of rain to come. I hoped the sun that lurked behind the pearly sky would hold for the outdoor gathering and finally, I had an epiphany… still too flowery as I try to capture it here but heartfelt nonetheless.

Nanny, Bampy, Karin

This woman was one of the first people to hold me. Her voice and lilting laugh are among the first sounds I heard. Her glorious auburn hair and delicate features among the first sights to imprint themselves on my eyes. Her music, her talent with thread and needle, her love of shoes, knowledge of couture, a signature scent and love for the colour purple all passed to me in my own Mum’s womb.

Nanny & Bampy 1992

How could any words that I think or pen, convey the depth and breadth of the impact of Evelyn May Collins on my life? How do you describe someone who has gifted you with her own legacy, has been one of those who helped you to learn to speak?

Nanny C's 95th At Mum's

“I love you Nanny. Eleventy Hundred”

~ ‘Karn Liz
9 May 2015

9 May 2015 EMC

Endings And Beginnings

My Nanny passed away Friday evening after a long and wonderful life.

Evelyn is my last surviving grandparent and I am blessed to have had all of them for as long as I did. Grandparents in my family were very “hands on” in helping to raise us and I couldn’t be happier about that.

Many of the things that I love, that are the core of me, come from them and from my Nanny Collins in particular, I’d like to say thank you for: purple, dainty feet, love of shoes, Wales, music and singing, faith, sewing, creativity, entrepreneurial spirit, bravery, one signature fragrance, setting an elegant table, unconditional acceptance.

Evelyn May Collins née Thomas

Nanny, Bampy, Karin

Hello Nanny and Bampy, welcome to being Grandparents 🙂

Nanny, Karin, after my ballet recital

Gabbing after my last ballet performance. Nanny sewed my very first tutu when I was in primary RAD dance.

~~~~~

A Thousand Winds

Do not stand at my grave and weep.
I am not there. I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow.
I am the diamond glints on snow.
I am the sunlight on ripened grain.
I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you awaken in the morning’s hush
I am the swift uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circled flight.
I am the soft stars that shine at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry;
I am not there. I did not die.
~ Mary Elizabeth Frye