My Gran

My Gran (my Mum's Mum) is short...uh, vertically challenged. Her name is Maisy and she lives in Cranbourne, about 10 minutes away from where I live, with Grandad and their cat Bluey. She's nearly 80. She used to be a nurse and met Grandad when Grandad was injured after fighting in World War II. I think Gran was originally from country Victoria, and I know she lived in Gisborne and Kyneton, around the Macedon Ranges in western Victoria, when she was first married.

Gran is a very active and mobile person (she's been sick recently, but she's getting her strength back!) She has all her wits about her, cooks and cleans and does all the other things you'd expect from a retired woman. I've met people younger than Gran who I thought were older. Gran is just what I expect all 80-year-olds to be like.

For all that I do know about Gran, I also feel that I don't know her very well at all. Gran's been around for longer than I can remember, and possibly because of that I've never stopped to consider that I don't know much about her.

Here's what I do know about my Gran:

My Gran is talented. She made me my favorite teddy bear, Billy Blue Bear, and then re-covered him when I burnt Billy on the heater. She knitted me a rug out of Chicago Bulls colors when she found out that was my favorite team. She knitted me a big woolen jumper (that's too big, because I asked her to make it that way, despite her protests).

You don't want to get into a trivia contest with my Gran. She knows a lot. This has come from years of crosswords, I'm sure. And she can play cards pretty well too. How do I know? She's beaten me in the past, and I've never forgotten (I've never played her since, either).

Gran can cook. Her pickles are a coveted item in our house. Once a year she makes rum balls for the family Christmas. Whenever we need advice on cooking (like when Olivia and I cooked the Christmas Pudding last year), we ask Gran.

Gran is persistent. She's been married to my Grandad for more than 50 years. It takes real effort to stay together that long!

Gran has cancer. This one's the hard one. Gran was diagnosed last July and was put into treatment almost immediately. She's just finished a round of chemotherapy. Gran has a positive outlook and (as mentioned) she's very persistent and determined to keep fighting, with help from her supportive family. It has been a very different 12 months than all of us have ever experienced before. For me it's an interesting time and I think I'm still in denial, but that's nothing compared to what is facing Gran, and how she is handling it.

Love you Gran!

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