Throughout my life there are many memories that have affected me and ones that I remember in particular. The memory that I am going to write about has only become a memory quite recently – but it will be a memory that I will never forget. I feel that I should write about it as it has had a massive emotional impact on me as well as my family. My grandmother ‘Martha Williams’ was the most influential and touching woman. She was always there to listen, guide and help others whenever she could. So this is in loving memory of her.
Martha Williams was born 15. 9. 910 and sadly passed away 26. 9. 2002, which made her 92 years of age. I have no exact first memories of her as she was always with us. My mother said she was like a fairy godmother, always there with a kind smile and with a shiny pound coin in her busy hand waiting to give to us. Before she went into hospital she was still the same old’ Martha. I can always recall a Wednesday; our ‘Bamps’ would pick up my sister and I from the bus stop to go to our Nan’s for dinner, and every time that we got in the car, ‘Grandma’ would be there with her round jolly face and wicked laugh.
After dinner, I would make her some ice cream, with a special request that baileys would be poured over the top. After which her cheeks and face would glow a rosy red. It is true what people say, ‘You don’t realise how much you love someone until they’re gone’. Although these memories seem rather dull to the reader, they have affected me greatly. I never even used to think twice about getting in the car on a Wednesday, or even listening to her wise stories, because to me ‘Grandma’ would always be there, and then, little things like that didn’t seem very important.
Another memory that I will miss terribly is visiting her small, old-fashioned house on a cold, crisp, Christmas morning. Although my sister and I always moaned about leaving our presents, and use to say, ‘She’ll be there tomorrow, we can go and see her then’. There is now, unfortunately, nothing to moan about. As we entered her Victorian styled house the warmth from her small fire always blew into your face. There, ‘Grandma’ would sit, upright in her green, comfy chair, chuckling away. Even when we were there we still nagged about going back home and never appreciated the time that we could spend with her.
There will also be a happy face missing from the audience in our school plays, as she always tried her best to come to every one of them. She always praised us no matter how badly we sung. ‘Grandma’ was always there when I needed her she was someone to confide in, someone who you could trust, and although she was 92, she was very broad minded and open, and believe it or not, extremely modern. My mother also told her everything; ‘Grandma’ was never surprised or shocked and always had the answer to any question. I also remember the way her annoying hearing aid caused a riot over my Nan’s.
Grandma’ was constantly fiddling with it; she would not leave it alone. It’s relentless screeching drove everybody mad. As soon as my ‘Bamp’ would fix it, 30 seconds later, it would ‘go off again’. ‘Songs of Praise’ will no longer be heard blasting out from her colour TV. She loved to sing along to all the hymns, especially, ‘How great thou art’. From 6:10pm on a Sunday, she would want no interruptions. Gleefully and merrily singing along, she would ‘give it all she had’. ‘Grandma Martha’, had, had a tremendous life.
She had lived through the sinking of the Titanic, Two World Wars and the Millennium. She also survived breast cancer and had a hip replacement, which many people thought she would not recover from, but she did, and she lived for another twenty years. So if she were to write this essay she wouldn’t run short of things to say. Although it wasn’t noticeable, she was very ill. The cancer that was in her breast many years ago had started to spread into her kidneys and brain. She never complained about the pain until the day she died. I think it had become so bad she had to tell someone.
This news had been kept from me until about a month ago. There were no words to describe how I felt when I found out. In a way I am glad I never knew because I don’t have a memory of her when she suffered but on the other hand if I knew perhaps I would have done more and appreciated her to a greater extent. The last memory I have of my ‘Grandma’ is the last time I ever saw her. Which was 15th September, on her 92nd birthday. We all had a piece of soft sponge cake and I remember telling her, ‘Don’t forget to make a wish’. It took her two breaths but she finally did it.
We sat outside on the bench talking for about half an hour but then she started worrying about my lung, so she insisted that I go home and get ready for church. I shouted ‘Bye’ and waved to her as we drove off. She was waving back and chuckling cheerfully like always. I never, ever thought that, that was the last I would see of her. I wish I could have given her one big hug before I left. My family has its problems like every other family. My Nan’s sister and her daughter had argued with my Nan and my mother, and they haven’t spoken for many years – my Grandma was the only person to keep all the family together.
My grandma always kept trying to get everyone to talk and would often keep both sides of the family up to date about each other. The night my Grandma died, my family put their differences aside and all went up to her ward. They were all talking to each other and to her as normal. My Nan and her sister went home to ‘ freshen up’ as they had stayed the previous night. So my mother, her cousin and her brother stayed with my Grandma. As my mother’s cousin went to phone her mother, and her brother went outside for a cigarette, my mother was the only one left in the room with my grandma.
She leant over, hugged her and whispered, ‘we’re all here just like you’ve always wanted, all your family back together’. My grandma then squeezed my mother’s hand and passed away. It was as if she was waiting to hear those words, holding on, so she could rest in peace. I will always remember this story, although it has really upset and moved me, I will never forget how strong and brave my Grandma Martha was and how good an influence she had on anyone who met her. Friday 4th October is also a memory that will stick in my head forever.
It was a very long and stressful week, waiting for Grandmas funeral. My cousin, my sister and I also wrote poems that were taken and placed in the Order of Service: Always The way you always used to smile, And laugh when we were there, The way you always called me vain, When I did my hair. The way we’ll always remember you, We love you with all our hearts, We have so many memories, With which we shall never part. If you were only here with us, Now your presence is at rest, We’ll never, ever forget you, Our Grandma, the dearest, the BEST. Grandma
You were always there when I needed you, My glowing light to guide. You knew what to say, and right on cue, Someone who I could trust to confide. Your face would always be full of glee, As you laughed and chuckled away With Rosie, the dog, sat on your knee, And Happiness shining like a Sun’s dazzling ray. A path is worn where you walked with grace, Religiously every day, At Bill Harry Court you became a familiar face, Always so joyful and gay. We know you’re watching from above, Through winter’s cold and summer’s hot, The seasons change, but not our love,
And you will never be forgot. I will never forget Martha Williams, my grandmother. There are so many memories and feelings that will never be lost. I am so proud to be her Grandson. She has made a substantial effect on my life, she was graceful, jolly and never without a smile. Everybody always said she had a lovely face and she did. Even though all of these little memories meant nothing then, they mean the world to me now. In loving memory of Martha Williams, dear mother, grandmother and great grandmother. You will always be remembered.