I have no living blood grandparents left. I was fortunate to have amazing grandparents from both my mum and dads side. My mums dad however passed away when I was 5 and so i didn’t know him. My mum’s mum even though she lived in CT while we lived in Durban, was the closesnt person to me growing up.
I could tell her anything and she always knew the right thing to say. We shared secrets and stories and I think she was the only person who got me. Perhaps that also had to do with the fact that maybe she was the only person I was so brutally honest with about everything i thought and felt.
My grandmother on my dad’s side was so sweet, always kind, always teaching us something or the other but she passed away when I was 13. My grandad was tough as nails and was not always the kindest of people. But he never left you in doubt of his absolute love for his grandkids. I think we all made him come alive and we were what kept him going when my grandma passed away.
Before we migrated to Australia, my grandfather passed away. While we were here my grandmother visited a few times but by her last visit she was quite sick. Not long after, back in SA she passed away but it’s still surreal. As much as I cried and grieved I didn’t really feel like she was gone. I went back to SA for my brother’s wedding and it was a 3 day whirlwind and I was back in Oz but when I got back here I felt the loss of my grandmother- strange that it was such a delayed reaction.
Having had the one store ever since we got here 9 years ago, one tends to build a relationship with their customers. I have been so lucky in that i managed to adopt 2 sets of grandparents. It’s quite weird in that we not even remotely related. One is an Anglo Indian Family and the other a mauritian family. It’s just awesome to be surrounded by people who are able to give so much love.
Jackomo thinks I’m the sweetest girl in the world, he makes me feel like thats what i should try and be. He is always ready to shower love and will always listen to me and always wants to know what he can do for me while Dora looks on like a doting grandmother. Everything their grandkids get, I get, and I also get shouted at if I’m doing the wrong thing. They make sure they come to the store Im at even if it means travelling out of their way and if they miss me, they’ll ring and make sure I’m Ok. They follow my career and are always interested in what I do. They sometimes bring cuttings from papers that might interest me. It’s quite cute. Yesterday their daughter came into the store and I told her I was starving, today lunch came packed for me napkin and all. Jackomo had to make sure I ate.
Glennis and Andrew shower me with love also. My Xmas present is always someting beautiful and she writes me the sweetest notes. They are both incredibly lonely with no grandchildren on their own and they moving on in years now and aren’t too well. They don’t come around much but will keep in touch on the phone or ring if they need anything. I help out here and there by organising appointments or helping with issues they having with banks or the old age home they in. Whatever I can do for them, it’s worth it just to see the look on their faces.
I guess the point of this, is the realisation when Dora and Jackomo walked in today how very very lucky I am- to have had wonderful biological Grandparents but also these strangers who are like family.
Migrating here has been sad in that i had to leave so many friends and family behind but at the same time it has opened doors like this to meet new people and make them my family.
i have friends from such a spectrum of places across the world and really they are family. Having had to let go of my own, i realise just how important it is to have wonderful people around you all the time.
It’s a reminder to count my blessings more often