So today is the 10th Anniversary since my beloved 'Granma' left us for a better place.
She was one in a million. A lady, a powerhouse, an intellect. She was able to adapt with the times loving her mobile phone, the internet, her email account. I was honoured that she agreed to give me away on my wedding day.
She'd go to the library and research school projects. She helped me through my A Levels. She caught three trains with me to Leeds and sat waiting for four hours during my University interview. She was at the end of the phone every night on my way home from work. She hated the 'fish dinner' at McDonalds. She cracked one liners when you least expected.
She taught me so much and I can only aspire to become a small part of the wonderful woman she was. She taught me the attitude and phrase 'you've just got to get on with it' and she'd probably chastise me for going on now and being emotional instead of getting to the point.
The point is, 10 years. How? It seems forever and a day since I held her in my arms and yet 10 years seems to have also flown by. Can it really be 10 whole years?
Her anniversary got me thinking that actually, despite doubting I would ever cope without her, I have survived 10 years. And then I got thinking, how, but the answer was quickly clear.
I have her all around me. I drink my tea from her mug every morning. I use her tweezers to shape my brows. Her photo is next to my bed. My keepsake box of her bits of tat jewellery are next to my dressing table mirror. Her cards to me are tucked in the door of my toiletries cupboard. I still wear a cardigan she bought me for my 21st! The crystal she bought for my 30th is on my dressing table - in fact I could go on and on and on.
I've never visited her grave and never will. I still prefer to think she is across in Liverpool waiting for my phone call each evening. My keepsakes of my time with her and her time with us are not only wonderful reminders of her but also a huge comfort when I miss her most.
We sell keepsake boxes for all kinds of occasions and scenerios but sometimes we focus on the box, not the contents and not the power and comfort they can provide.
Keepsakes are so important and my Granma's are my ultimate treasures.
If I could say one thing to you tonight Granma I'd say "I've loved you with every breath this last ten years, here are your beautiful Great-Grandchildren, please keep smiling down on them."