A little bit about my granny.

My gran and I had a special relationship.  I suppose because I wasn’t your average teenager and she most certainly was not the average “granny” stereotypical old woman.  For starters, she was only 52 when she died.  Of cancer, emphysema & cirrhosis of the liver.  She was pretty much screwed.  And it was from her chosen lifestyle that she died that way.

She lived with us right up until a few weeks before she died, which is when she had to go to Hospice.  It was right around the corner from my school, so everyday I would take a walk over and go sit with her and sing Amazing Grace to her tired and more often than not sleeping body and apply vaseline to her dried and peeling lips.  I remember the smell of her breath as she inhaled and exhaled with the help of machinery, I remember her yellowing pallor of her skin and how the bones jaunted out behind what were once her cheeks.  She looked like a sceleton towards the end.  With skin on it. 

But more than any of that, I remember how she would (almost daily) inform me frantically, whilst applying rouge to her lips and blush to her cheeks, that Elvis was collecting her “imminently, Sheena-Laura, immintently!” in his cadillac, and could I please help her find her favourite wedge heels to wear.  She was on morphine of course, but I went with it until she’d fall back asleep in her death bed. 

I remember the way she used to sit just a tad more upright when the male doctors would walk in to check on her.  I remember how she would almost ignore my brothers when I was around.  I was totally her favourite grandchild.  I remember her way of making cottage pie.  I remember it was her birthday on 18th of May. 

The thing was, although she could be the perfect gran, she wasn’t always the best role model.  One weekend she called me up and told me to pack my bags for a few days, we were going out.  And to bring a friend.  We went bar hopping, dancing with strangers and karaoke singing with two men called Lars and Heinrich.  Sounds fun, right?  Yeah… I was only 13 though.

I also happen to remember two things she told me.  They’ve become psuedo life philosophies to me, which probably should never have:

  • Sheena-Laura, always remember: be a lady in the lounge, a chef in the kitchen and a whore in the bedroom.  You’ll never go wrong.

The second bit is a bit far-fetched but has also held its truths too:

  • To get over one man, get underneath another.

And you wonder why I’m so screwed up when it comes to men.


  1. TotallyCooked says:

    very useful advice – now if she had just thrown in a hangover remedy you would have been sorted

  2. Scott says:

    Yeah, how many no-name-brand grannies are there out there? Eccentricities are so cool. I love the Elvis hallucination- It’s exactly the kind of thing I would say in her situation. My mother was a bit like that: The kind of cannot-be-ignored personality. Brilliant.

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