Struggling to find a title to sit with this post, so you may be reading the original one or one of its many variations. I am wanting to write about your mother’s mother. The maternal grandmother, or in my case “nanny”.
My Nanny was called Joan Winifred Laffan (nee Haines) she was in her early 40s when I was born, my mother was 20, still a child herself and then there was me. A screaming infant, a month early, jaundiced, slightly deformed and due to this I almost killed my mother on the way out. Sorry mum.
In life we all have people that impact, imprint their lives on our young nubile minds. These people can be for the good or the bad, it is then up to us to how we navigate these influences. In many cases this may not be just your parents, but a grandparent, a aunt or uncle – mine was Joan aka Nanny.
The one thing you need to know more than anything is that she was my most absolute favorite person in the “whole entire world”. She was my sunshine, the gentle moon on a glistening lake, the stars, fluttering butterflies, rainbows on a drizzly day, a gentle breeze on my skin, she was my everything. Her smell, her tight hugs, her perfect beehive hair, her Teasmaid in the morning, her skin, her laugh, her twinkling eyes and her nicknames for me were magical and wondrous. She was an angel, my magical sprite, my fun-loving, kind, gentle, caring forever happy nanny. God (and I am not religious) I loved her with every single cell, fiber, heartbeat, filament that came from my child’s body. She kept me safe and loved me with such a force I never ever doubted what I was to her, I was her “Kellykins” and I miss her.
Sadly my gorgeous, glamorous cigarette holder, smoking, whiskey drinking, hardworking, jiving nanny had to leave me at age 31, just before I gave birth to Arthur and my 32nd birthday. Lung cancer stole her; even though she had given up smoking years before. It was quick and brutal! One day I was hugging her so tight, her frail shrinking body and then she was gone, a light was extinguished and the world became a little darker without her in it. Just gone, no more, no more wafts of Coco Chanel floating in the air, no more laughter, no more bone crushing, soul lifting love. Her white hair and penchant for Cornflower blue outfits, just gone! SNAP.
Almost 13 years later, I still miss her everyday. My heart just hurts when I think of her, I feel crushed and lost and I will never ever get her back. She never met my boys, and man she would have loved them more than she loved me. She adored Kieron and always said , “Oh Kelly If I were 20 years younger I would give you a run for your money on that one”! Thankfully she was not 20 years younger as I feel like I may have lost that battle 🙂
There was a beautiful connection that I had with her, that she just knew me, she didn’t want to change me, it was like we were bonded in a way I have never ever felt before. Yes, I was her favorite, I knew it, she knew it and so did everyone else, but it was a magic I had never felt before. When we were together, life just felt easy, it felt safe, it was just nanny and Kelly, we liked the same things, we had the same style, the same dreams and personality, we were just 40 years apart and life was very different for her compared to me. I was a 70s baby, she was a 30’s baby.
She gave me so many gifts that I truly could not describe, but I love the fact she gave me a style and ease / confidence in clothes that I cherish to this day, I am not scared to create feelings and stories with the way I dress. We shared a love of Chanel, fine bags and good jewelry. Joan Laffan, was seriously one of the coolest humans I have ever met and I miss her, I am not the same without her, but I know she is with me. I still on occasion can smell phantom smoke, when I am all alone and no one is around, I can look up at a Cornflower sky and feel her energy swirl round, I see her in my dreams and I can still feel her hugs and her soft sweaters on my skin.
She was my favorite and I wish she were still here.