My Uncle asked for the treasured sewing box and the antique mirror. My aunt kept the wedding dress and the jewellery. My dad asked me if there was anything that I would like to remember my gran by.
When someone you love dies how do you remember them?
Una Gran, as she was known to me, lived close to my parents house so me and my brother spent a lot of time with her when we were little.
Every year for my birthday without fail she made the most chocolately chocolate cake, which I insisted on eating for breakfast. At Easter we made paste eggs and rolled them down the hill on the green behind her house.
She had a box of toys that looked like they were from the 1950s. When we stayed over we played bingo.
My granda died when I was six and I remember being worried about my gran. I wrote her a letter at the time asking if she was ok and if she would like me to make her a cardigan! She kept that letter for the rest of her life.
As I got older we stopped playing bingo instead she shared stories about her life with me. She told me about her eight sisters, about being sent to Birmingham as a teenager to work as a live-in nanny and sending her wages home each week to her mother, about meeting my granda on the buses and getting married.
She used to say that she wished that she had had the chance to visit Anne Frank’s house in Amsterdam.
She told me to enjoy having money to myself before I had a family and that 'if something wasn't in the shop the second time I went to look for it' it wasn't meant to be.
Her family, especially her grandchildren were the centre of her life.
My gran meant a lot to me. When she died I didn't inherit the family heirlooms. I inherited her pressure cooker, clothes pegs, potato masher, her cutlery including proper table spoons and even some paper napkins that she thought were too pretty to use.
Its a nice thought when I make soup in the pressure cooker or hang out the washing that I am using the things she once used.