My Nana was never known for her flexibility or for admitting when she was wrong. She was stubborn. She liked things done a certain way and she didn’t mind letting you know it. Truth be told she was Incredible. She didn’t smile her true smile easily. You would have to earn her smile. I loved that about her. She made you work for it! If you wanted more too soon you would get the “I’m smiling, what more do you want” smile. If you were lucky to get the real one, it lit up her whole face – and the room. Two weeks on and I’m still coming to terms with the fact that I won’t see it again in this life.
Growing up I always thought you were simply the “greatest person” I knew (as a child that’s the only way I could describe your amazingness). You always had stories for us and you made us feel loved. Really, really loved.
I barely remember living in Ireland when I was small. I do however remember our trips to the Lough to feed the birds. You had time for all the animals and even on your death bed this was your major concern. Everyone must look after God’s animals. My Mammy told me that I cried for months over leaving you and our dog Mitzy when we emigrated to Australia. She said that – I packed my bags every night to go home to you and it broke her heart. I guess she knew I was a gold fish. Soon weekly Sunday calls and the promise “it wasn’t forever”- was enough to pacify me.
When you came to Australia on your big trip to visit us, our first stop was to the lake to feed the birds. You always showed such compassion and grace. We took you to so many tourist spots and I don’t remember ever thinking you were too old to be doing as much as we did. To me you where the same as us and needed to just “keep up”.
We loved you even though you had rules…rules that we broke often. Sorry Nana!
The treat cupboard was always full as you had the biggest sweet tooth. You where partial to a Jackie Lennox’s and my beautiful cousins in Dublin had this with you (not knowing it was your last supper). We always laughed at the thick layer of butter you would spread on your bread (I shouldn’t have laughed) I am now addicted. There was nothing a cup of tea and cheese sandwhich couldn’t fix.
I remember how you protected us when anyone criticised us. You know – When I told you I was pregnant. Out of wedlock. What was I thinking? It didn’t matter. We were your grandchildren & you would protect us no matter what.
You have the strongest, most courageous and determined spirit of anyone I’ve ever met. How could anyone survive what you’ve been through? A lifetime full of laughs, but some pretty hard times too (becoming a widow at such a young age) I can’t even bare the thought of it. I believe that feisty spirit and determination you had – shines through to your grandchildren and great grandchildren.
I wish you could have more time with Mylittleloves. They loved you so much. Especially Little Red who talked your ear off from Dubai. I still remember the day she was born and you had just had a fight with the bank as they wanted to give you a card to take out your money (so you wouldn’t have to go into the bank and queue). I think you said to Lukey “Wouldn’t it be better if I just died”. Thankfully you changed your mind after meeting Little Red and this is where your new love thrived. The two of you had a bond that I could never explain.
You created a new treat cupboard which was full of pound shop toys for when ever we visited. The walks started up again with your new love (Little Red). The lough to feed the birds, the cemetery to see granddad and to Coakleys for a bag of jelly’s. Making sure there was time to get back for either Bingo with your buddies or Mass with Margaret. Like clock work. We would never dream of disturbing your schedule!
You loved Aoibhie’s cheeky nature and often corrected me when I called her a saucy pup. You said she was a loveable rogue. She loved you loads. I know you can never live with regret but upshifting her at 10months away from you always leaves me heavy hearted. I wish she knew you as Little Red did.
I will always hold you on a pedestal. From your faith in humanity to your faith in the church, you were a blessing to all who knew you. Scents can bring you back to a time and a place. I am so thankful for this. Happy moments pour into our hearts when we get a hint of a scent. This scent for me, is a scent of home… of you… and of so many amazing memories that we will make sure live on forever…
RIP Nana Sheehy x