Had lunch under the trees with my dear Nana today. At 92, this old lady has seen it all, yet she still marvels at the first-of-spring shoots and fledgling birds as if a child, deriving immeasurable pleasure in a plate of food and savouring her glass of Sauvignon Blanc, as if all the joy of life is distilled in these simple rituals. She’s lived through a world war, raised four children and buried two husbands, my Nan, yet she listens intently as I jabber on about the minutiae of my life, never trivializing, never passing judgement.
When I first broke the news to my family of the failure of my marriage, my grandmother was the only one who didn’t have a thousand things to say. Instead, she held my hand in hers and told me, simply, that it would be okay – this from a woman for whom divorce was never an option, despite having married, first, an alcoholic depressive and, then, after my grandfather passed away, a cantankerous old ba$#@!d.
So, today, when I declared, “Nana, I’m falling in love,” she didn’t ask endless questions about his financial credentials, pre-existing responsibilities or relationship history. Instead, she enquired gently, “Samantha, is he good to you?”. And when I replied, “Yes, Nan, he makes me feel like the most special person in the world,” she simply raised her glass in a frail, trembling hand and said, “Good, dear, that’s all that matters.”
Then we sat together in silence, there in the dappled shade of those giant birches, the calm of a Sunday afternoon washing over us, and all was right with the world.
– Single-again Samantha