Granny’s arm slipped into mine as we neared the old ruin. Every time I visited she insisted we go for a walk and every time we came down near the old ruin. We did I learned as the ruin was all that was left of her home from all those years ago.
A night that changed her life. Each time we ventured down here I would feel her arm tighten on mine as the memories came flooding back to her.
She remembers only sitting on the front lawn holding my mother as her world burned away in front of her.
She lost not only her home but her husband and a son. They found him in the little boy’s room his body over the top of his son.
“Lenny was a good man you know. He made me laugh, he loved life and he loved what we were making as our home. He’d get so excited over the smallest things and the two kids we had were his proudest achievement. He used to say let’s have a few kids while the mould is right.”
Granny told the same stories every time. Those were the only ones she had from a life that was broken and cut so tragically short.
“He used to go the football matches each Saturday afternoon and one Saturday evening he came home so excited as he’d won the raffle prize. A brand new woolen blanket. It was one we’d never be able to afford and it kept us snug and warm on cold nights.”
Once again I would feel her arm tighten against me as her mind went back all those years.
“Anyway,” she’d say. “ Enough of my memories we’d best be getting back you have given me the best news in a long time.”
Mum and I had made the trip to Granny’s to tell her I was pregnant and she was to be a great grandmother an announcement that pleased her no end.
“I tell you these stories,” she said. “As I think you need to know your family story so one day you might be able to pass it on to this little one.” She’d hold my arm all the way back to the house and find mum cleaning as she always did which was one of mum’s lovable OCD qualities. Cleaning, scrubbing she did it all at Granny’s house.
Mum liked that Granny told me about her past as I was the only one she did talk to about it.