The usual names people give to their grandparents are ‘Grandma’, ‘Grandpa’, ‘Nanna’, ‘Granddad’. Not I. Why do I call my grandma ‘Grannyma’? Because it’s unique and special, just like her.
Now I’m not trying to be really soppy or anything; I’m just telling the truth. My grandma has been my mum’s rock through all the rough times. She’s not just my grandma - she’s been a parent, a friend, a babysitter, a teacher, and all four grandparents to my brother and I. When my mum has struggled financially my grandma has always been there to help us out, even allowing us to all move into her flat when we had no place to go. Steve (my biological father) was always quite a hands-off father, even when he lived with us, so my grandma filled his role instead.
...Not to mention the fact she was only too happy to tell him to get his arse into gear!
When my mum was at work, it was Grannyma who would take me to and from nursery and ask me how my day was. It was Grannyma who would skip around the garden with me singing “Tom, Tom, The Piper’s Son”. It’s Grannyma who spoils us, who shares my passion for the Tudors, who loves the three of us unconditionally, and who has supported us every step of the way - through the good times and the hard times.
My grandma hasn’t exactly had it easy. She lost her husband to cancer when my mum was 18, and lost her son to cancer just three years ago. She’s one of the strongest people I know, and to see her cry is just heartbreaking. If that wasn’t enough, her sister and brother-in-law were diagnosed with dementia and Alzheimer's not long after. She’s been through a lot to say the least, yet at 81 she’s still as strong as ever...not to mention bossy.
The thing about Grannyma is that she is loved by many. One of the girls who does her nails once told her that she would love to have her as a grandma. Grannyma has that young twinkle in her eye that invites you to have a laugh with her, and she isn’t afraid to be as cheeky as though she were my age. She’s fiercely protective of her family, and although in her old age she rambles on about nothing, we would be lost without her. Now that I am older, I feel privileged to be able to give back a little, to tuck her head under my chin as she once did with me, and make her feel safe like she does for me.
I love my grandma with all my heart, and that is why she deserves a special title: my Grannyma.