Glass, Glasgow and Gran

It’s interesting that last week’s PhotoHunt theme was ‘glass’. I don’t participate in it but watch others who do, or rather, look at their selections. It’s always interesting to see how three or more people interpret the same subject matter so differently. I thought about posting this on Saturday along with everyone else, but lacked the gumption, desire–something. Well, that and I’d just gotten my first real full night’s sleep after coming off the transatlantic flight a dozen or so hours before, so you’ll excuse me for my tardiness.

When I first heard of the theme, I thought instantly of a candid shot I’d captured of Ian in Scotland. It was the 19th March and his first ever train ride, something I had been anticipating for a very long time. And, I was quite easily as excited as he was, despite the slight feeling of reluctance I was feeling, knowing I would be travelling thirty miles away from my Gran’s bedside. She had asked me the day before if we had any plans while we were here, and it was hard for me to actually want to make any plans, and really seldom did. I usually aimed to be at the hospital around 3 p.m. to visit for an hour every day and that was about as far as my plans would take me. That day, I told her that we were headed to Glasgow by train the next day so that the boys could experience it. I told her I was excited to see Ian’s reaction to it all and she smiled and simply said “good”.

After staying for a few hours in Glasgow shopping and sight-seeing with Bryan, Ian, Cameron and my brother Ciaran (Key-ron), we headed back west to the waiting car at the train station, and then on to the hospital.

Years ago, my Gran had admitted to herself and others (probably reluctantly) that she really needed hearing aids. This of course, gave her very selective hearing. After being admitted to the hospital on 30th October, she could no longer use them with the feeding tube wrapped around each ear. There were days during my visits to her that she could hear me perfectly when I talked in my normal level. That night after Ciaran and I walked quietly into her dimly lit room around 7 o’clock and briefly watched her sleep before I leaned over and touched her hand so as not to alarm her was not one of those times. She couldn’t make out anything he was saying and I had to repeat everything as she looked blankly and almost helplessly at me to help her out. Admittedly, it was only thanks to being in the States that I could project my voice at her at an audible level without feeling as though I was shouting (angrily).

My Mum had told me how Gran’s long-term memory was sharp as ever, but her short-term was basically shot. One of the first things she surprisingly asked after I apologised for waking her was, “how was Glasgow?” Short of telling her “a little wet and very windy”, I told her we had had a good time and that Ian had loved the train and the huge terminus (with thirteen platforms). It was hard not to feel some sort of regret going and doing things, knowing that she had been very active her entire life: travelling all over the world and keeping her daily routine of waking at 5 o’clock, exercising, leaving (sometimes with the dog of whomever she was visiting) for a 6-mile round trip walk and then returning home for a cold bath and breakfast, and was now reduced to sitting upright in a bed or occasionally on a wing-backed chair.

Despite her outward appearance and how much weight she had lost due to the cancer and the feeding tube, she was still in there, she was still my feisty Gran that I knew and loved.ย  She still had her rampant sense of humour and quick wit, and most importantly, she still had that fight in her that she always had.


19 responses to “Glass, Glasgow and Gran

  1. She sounds like an amazing woman. ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Now I understand, perhaps a bit better, how it is you are as amazing as you are.

  3. anglophilefootballfanatic

    I think you are lucky to have had that time with her to share her with the boys. And, that you are writing this all down? Means you’ll preserve those memories.

    You & your brother both got Irish names!

  4. I love that you have such fabulous memories of your Gran and that you could share some of your adventures while you were with her. The photos are great…

  5. love the pictures! and the story! if you haven’t already done it, you really do need to make a record – written, audio, whatever – of the memories you have of your gran. i have a collection of pictures and stories that my mom put together about my grandmother, and i consider it a treasure!

  6. Great post, and the photos were fabulous too! (combination of wonderful camera and adorably photogenic children, no doubt!)

  7. It’s these times that teach us that our outer shell is not what or who we are. Even if the outer was changing, she was still your Gran.. and always will be!

  8. So a beautiful post and memory of your Gran. What an amazing woman…it is no wonder why you are so special.

  9. Beautiful post. And I love that first picture!

  10. I think you Gran liked to hear of your outting. She could travel through your eyes. And it must have been neat for her to see her great grandchild experience traveling as she did. What a blessing to have gotten time with your Gran.
    Your glass shot is priceless! Just beautiful!

  11. Reading this just makes me so much more glad that you got home. I might be living my dream of going home this year through you. It’s just nice to know that someone’s gone from here to Scotland and not to be a tourist.

    I didn’t get to go to the Temple dedication. I injured my back last summer and can’t sit for very long anymore. I don’t feel too bad about not going (anymore) though – I went to the Preston one way back when.

    I think you can buy The Gruffalo on The guy who wrote it is really good.

    Smarties don’t have the answer anymore – apparently Organic is the answer?! Not only are they dull but they taste different because of the colourings. I’d rather eat grass!

    I’m still not sure how to bake without S.R flour. That’s really one aspect of baking in America I’ve avoided. I don’t even know what kind of flour there is here. That’s why that PB Choc Chip cookie recipe was perfect. No flour! Take that!

  12. I just wanted to drop a little note to you and let you know how wonderful you are. I know the time we spent with your Gran and the timing of everything were no accident.

    She will always be with us and thanks to you had the peace and love around that she needed before saying goodbye for a short while.

    I love you and will always remember our family adventure. I am looking forward to the sequel!


  13. By the way, Love that picture… it really captures Ian.

  14. Great window shot!

    Your Gran will always be where you are.

  15. She sounds so great! Reminds me some of my great-aunt Rocena. Her mind is going but there are times where you know she remembers you or what she is saying isn’t something she is pulling from the past. Her spunk and humor are still in tact no matter what.

    I love the pictures. So cute ๐Ÿ™‚

  16. We’ll be driving through Missoula on Saturday morning. I shall be thinking of you… I hope that’s where you live or close to it so this doesn’t seem so weird.

  17. This post is just beautiful. We can just tell, it’s apparent, how much you love your Gran and how much she will be missed. Though memories will always live on.

    Be well, my friend.

  18. Those shots are fantastic.
    Thank you for sharing that story about your Gran. The more you share about her the more I’m convinced that she was a kick ass kinda gal. ๐Ÿ™‚ 6 mile round trip walk? Every day? Wow!

  19. Pingback: A Lifetime in 6 Months «

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