Mary the great
Today would have been my nanny Mary’s 98th birthday, and I have found myself thinking about her a lot lately, I’m sad because although I have so many amazing memory’s of my nanny, as do my older two daughters, Mimi never got to meet this amazing lady.
As a child I was bought up by my mum, a single mum and my nanny Mary was a big part of our lives. Every Thursday when I came home from primary school, her moped would be parked out the front of our house and when I got in doors she would be sat on the sofa knitting away. She tried often to tech me to knit but I was completely hopeless, but I have recently taught myself to crochet using her old hooks so I like to think she’d be proud of my achievement.
She also came on all our family holidays with us. Sometimes we’d go abroad and as me and my brother got older we went all over the UK.
I remember sitting with my nanny on the long flight to visit my aunty in New York, I was probably about 8yrs old, as we got on the plane everyone got given a goodie bags with headphones, socks, sleep mask, ear plugs, a tooth brush and a tiny tube of tooth paste in it, as kids our bags had more stuff in, pencils, colouring book, a pack of playing cards and other things to keep us a entertained while onboard. When my nanny saw the pack of cards her eyes lit up, and we spent the flight playing all sorts of card games. She taught me how to play solitaire and clock solitaire. She also taught me how to play a game called gin rummy, now when when I say she taught me, I mean she taught me how to play and be good competition but not how to win!
When we visited the Statue of Liberty she insisted on waiting for us in her plinth while we went up to her crown because she didn’t like open steps and ladders. When we visited seaside she wouldn’t go on the pier if she could see between the wooden slats, I loved all these funny quirks she had.
But she wasn’t scared of spiders, unlike my mum and brother, she would always say, as she caught a spider in a cup, “If you want to live and thrive, let a spider run alive” and I say that now, as I catch another spider and chuck it out the window.
As she got older she moved from her house in to her little flat and got rid of her moped. But she was just as active until osteoarthritis made it harder for her to get about, even her hands where affected, her fingers would seize up and lock in place but she never stopped knitting even though it was clearly painful. Although she needed help she wanted to be independent and she remained in her flat till the end.
Every Christmas she was there, every Thursday she was there for chilli or spaghetti bolognese, holidays she was there and now she’s not. Its as raw now as it was the day she left us. I miss her not just at Christmas or on a Thursday but everyday. I watch Mimi and the funny little things she does and just know they would love each other so much. My heart aches for them both and the relationship that they will never have. I long to hear her laugh to hold her one last time.
I miss my nanny Mary and my girls miss Mary the great.
18-08-1918 to 10-07-2010
Love you and miss you everyday