My parents came over to the UK in their early twenties, leaving their families in Mauritius. Growing up, one of the things I feel I missed out on was having grandparents nearby. Our parents took us to Mauritius every couple of years so I was able to see my grandparents on my mum’s side. My Dad’s mum passed away before I was born.
On my Dad’s side, my grandad passed away when I was about eight years old. We went out to Mauritius for his funeral. Something as a young girl that will always stay with me although I wasn’t allowed to attend the ceremony due to cultural traditions. I will always remember seeing so many people gather in the town. It was like a carnival where the streets were filled with faces but to say bye to someone forever.
I had the opportunity to be closer to my Mum’s parents and it’s nice that we have photos of them visiting us in England. I would also get to speak to them over the phone most Sunday’s. A few years after my grandad passing, my grandma (known as Nani) became ill. I went out to Mauritius with my Uncle L. It was a roots trip for me as I hadn’t been out there for years. I spent time with my Nani although she probably didn’t realise who I was. I loved watching her get on with her day and following her around the house.
A couple of months later, her health worsened and she was bed-bound. I flew out at short notice, this time with my Mum, Brother (and Uncle L again – my mum’s brother). We knew this was our last chance to see her. It was about saying thank you and sadly goodbye.
Her dementia worsened so when we all arrived she couldn’t recognise all of us. Then she mumbled my name. I will never forget this feeling when despite her illness we had managed to create a bond with each other. Feeling special as her granddaughter in that moment was an understatement. Having seen her a couple of months before had built up a memory of us together. Something her illness couldn’t take away. Nani then passed on a few weeks later on.
My school friends had their grandparents live down the road or a few towns away. Not growing up with my grandparents in the same country made me miss out of lots of everyday things. That’s why I’m so glad my girls get to see some of their grandparents lots. When I knew I wanted to be a parent, I also knew I wanted my kids to grow up with their own grandparents. I wanted my kids to have everyday memories with their grandparents which I didn’t get to enjoy.
They’ve been lucky to have two amazing grandmas, known as Nana (Mr.H’s mum) and Nani (my mum). They also have Grandad L (my uncle L). Sadly, Mr.H’s Dad passed away when he was little. We still talk lots about Daddy’s Daddy. My Dad lives in Mauritius so they don’t get to see him as he can’t travel due to ill-health. Here’s seven things I know the girls love about the grandparents they get to hang it with…
- Cuddles…There is something special about grandma cuddles. Grandmas don’t get to see their grandchildren everyday so every moment feels more precious. It’s condensed love. I always remember the henna-oil smell of my own Nani’s hair when we had cuddles. I love having a button nose and long hair like her.
- You never go hungry…Our mums are pretty cool about working to the girls’ routine. But you know you can always have a sneaky snack when Nani and Nana are around (don’t tell mummy!)
- Home-cooked food…Nanee’s Mauritian lentils go down a treat. Although she’s a fussy eater, this is one dish Big Munch will always enjoy. I’m sure there’s something comforting knowing that Nanee makes the lentils just for her. It’s important that our girls grow up with the same cultural treats as we did. Grandparents help them to celebrate their culture.
- Their own queens…You’ve got to love the glam of Nani and Nana. Big Munch loves commenting on how Nani also loves to wear hot pink. Nana has a bag like the Queen (apparently). I love how the grandmas also represent wise womanhood.
- Knowing words to all of the songs…Nani knows every nursery rhyme that exists (no joke). She’s taught me a few over the years and saved me having to learn these off YouTube.
- Independence…Both Nani and Nana are pretty independent ladies. They’re business-minded women. They have been super-resourceful when life has thrown serious curve balls at them. They are both Wonder Women. Nana loves coming up on the train from Devon to spend quality time with the girls. Nani happily drives to see us at short notice. It’s good the girls have them both as role models.
- Memories to hold onto…As Nana says it’s about “making memories”. I love how close the girls are to their Nani, Nana and Grandad L. I hope when the girls are older it will be payback time and they will look after their grandparents well.
Do your grandparents live close by? Or do they live far away? Are they still around? What are some of your favourite grandparent memories? What do the little ones love about their grandparents? Leave a comment below and share the grandparent love…
Have a good day everyone, see you again soon on Lucky Things.