Write from the Heart: Unveiling the Dear Nan Project

Dear Nan,

It feels like the longest time since I’ve written to you. Two years. That is a long time, though it actually feels more like an eternity. I’ve been wanting to, but I’ve also been reluctant, for fear that I won’t be able to stop. For fear that the tears won’t stop, again. For fear that I’ll only feel sadness and loss. But the conclusion that I’ve come to is that there is so much to catch up on, so many pieces of life to unwrap, and discuss, and remember, and savour. And you know me, writing is my way of processing the internal goings on of this often chaotic brain of mine.

Who am I kidding? Writing to you is really about my need for connection. It’s about feeling like you’re there, listening, laughing, responding in your not-so-wordy way, pondering what on earth I am rambling on about this time, and slowly trying process it, but not too slowly before I’m onto the next question or story.

I can see you now, your face a little bit scrunched up, as you try to think back to whatever moment in time the question I just asked you is relevant to. I can hear you now.

You’d say something like:

Well, I’ve got a shocking memory, Darl, you know that. Hang on and I’ll go and ask Uncle Charlie … I mean Pop ….. argh, Grandpa!

And I’d giggle at the long list of names you would go through when you were trying to find the right one, to fit the right person. And now it’s hit me. I’m just like that. I’m that person. I’ve made it to the list-all-of-the-people-you-know-before-you-get-to-the-right-name phase of my life. I’ve finally arrived. Here’s me secretly thinking it was ‘just a Nan’ thing, and next minute I’m calling … Poppy…. Leo ….Nass (where on earth didthat come from?!) …argh …Jess (no, Jess is my step-daughter!)… grrrr ….Coco … oh the relief)… to come and get her bone off my front door mat!

And you know what I’ve also just realised, as these words flow onto the page? That writing to you IS connecting me to you. I can feel it already, in these few meager lines, and after two years of silence, I’m done with that. So, it’s enough with the sadness! There are 50 years of love, and laughter, and stories, and conversations, to remember, and write about, and enjoy, and that’s exactly what I’m going to do. I’m going to write to you again.

Oh, Nan, it feels like I’m coming home.

Love your granddaughter,