I haven’t posted in over a month…didn’t realise it’d been quite so long! But lots has been happening, I have a new job (a writing job!), and I’ve been busy looking for somewhere to live/celebrating/preparing to start in a few weeks. Anyway, this week’s http://www.trifectawritingchallenge.com/ prompt is the word ‘remember’ with the definition ‘to keep in mind’.
Grandmama lived in a house full of strange things. Well, they were strange to me, who lived in a house where cleanliness and order were more important than anything else. ‘Use a coaster’, ‘No cuddles unless you tidy up’, ‘No trip to the theme park unless this house is dust free’. Yawn. Grandmama’s house had the best squishy armchairs, one was green and one was purple, which as a five-year-old amazed me. I was used to cream and chrome, and nothing else.
Grandmama was quite a character. Batty, totally batty. Could never quite remember my name, being the youngest of twelve grandchildren. Peter, Susan, Derek, Cathy, John, Barbara, Marie…oh never mind dear, just bring me another toffee. She sucked toffees constantly, and I often had to pop them in her mouth, as she was so busy knitting. Knitting tea cosies, and hats for her ornaments, and totally mental Christmas presents for all us grandchildren. My personal favourite was the knitted toothbrush warmer I got one year.
Ornaments covered every surface…sheep and maids, and ladies in fancy dresses, and foxes, and princesses, and hedgehogs. I was allowed to play with them, and spent hours of my childhood dreaming up stories full of damsels in distress being rescued by woodland animals. Lamps, and endlessly ticking clocks, and vases of wilting flowers filled any space that was left. The first time I saw a dead flower, I thought it was the saddest thing I’d ever seen. I was used to empty shelves, and artificial flowers. I cried about that first dead flower for days.
She used to say to me ‘all these’ll be yours one day my dear, I’ll be sure to remember you in my will’. I was so excited to own those little sheep. I didn’t like to think of her dying, but like all old people, her time eventually came, and I was very sad. Even sadder than I was about the dead flower.
I cried all through the funeral, but a few days later I remembered about the will and asked my parents if I could have the sheep now. But they’d been sold. Turns out Grandmama had left a great big pile of debt along with a dozen knitted hats for plastic hedgehogs and a half-knitted turban. I cried even more. More than I did for the dead flower and Grandmama’s funeral put together.
Thirty years on, I look back on those days at mad old Grandmama’s house, with the fondest of memories. She might not have left me those little woodland animals I was so excited about, but she did leave me with a whole host of happy memories. And love. And that’s all that matters.