Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Lessons My Gran Insists On Putting In Greeting Cards

My grandmother has an odd way of telling you things. In some cases, regardless of how long you know her or your relation to her, she'll tell you exactly what she thinks at any given moment: "You've gotten fatter since the last time I saw you!" I've become so accustomed to her blatant honesty that it no longer shocks me. I'm often puzzled by others' raised eyebrows and nervous laughter when she makes statements such as "These shoes are rubbish," while the poor salesperson has to think of an excuse as to why the shoes are not up to her standards. The nice thing is, she means well, she isn't an evil, miserable old lady at all. She will often put my friends needs above my own, Tavia can vouch for this, Ma will often scream "Wait! Let me get you a clean towel for your hands" (this is not because all our other towels are dirty, just that they are not up to "guest" standards.)

I admire my grandmother for many reasons, raising 4 children by herself often with little help from others; remaining strong through so many trials and tribulations; being able to bake the best chocolate cakes and lemon meringues; always giving so much of herself and never expecting anything in return (unless you're on your way back from England - then she would like a Man Utd Jersey) But most of all I admire the fact that she hasn't let a single birthday of mine pass without a birthday card containing advice only she can give. Yesterday I was "Christmas cleaning" (Another thing Ma has instilled in me) and happened to find a collection of cards, here are some of my favourite messages from them:

Age 2: Stop fighting with the boys, you need to act like a lady

Age 3: No more sucking thumb and drinking bottle, you're a big girl now

Age 7: Learn to relax, and play nicely with your brother

Age 11: Stop stressing!

Age 12: Congratulations on your good marks, keep it up!

Age 14: [Some quote about love that my mind has blocked out]

Age 19: I'm proud of you

Age 21: Enjoy your life!

I'm looking forward to this year's message, you never know what Ma might say! These are the little quips that I'll treasure for the rest of my days. Although my Grandmother won't be immortalized through monuments and memorials one day, I'll never forget some of the things she has taught me and one day I'll tell my grandchildren about her. But for now I'll just enjoy the amazing Christmas pudding she is bound to prepare and pretend she isn't going to pipe up  with a "Geez, Tarryn, are you SURE you should have another?"