What I learned from my Nana.

Yesterday would have been my Nana’s birthday.  It’s the first birthday that’s passed since she died in November.  It was a really hard day, and needless to say I missed her a lot.


I began thinking about Nana, and all the amazing memories I have of her.  She was a truly incredible woman and I’m so blessed to have had her as my grandmother.  She spent so much time with my brother and I and she taught us so many things.  Today, in honour of her, I’d like to share some of the things I learned from Nan.

– You are so much stronger than you realise.  You are capable of withstanding more heartbreak, difficulty and struggle than you would have thought possible.  My Nana experienced a lot of difficulties in her life.  Her husband was chronically ill for the last ten years of his life, and she cared for him at home tirelessly.  She raised three kids and lived on a farm which was a pretty hard life (although she loved it).  She battled cancer and dealt with the death of her mother at a young age.  In spite of all that difficulty, Nan kept going, and she rarely complained.

– Don’t judge a book by it’s cover.  Nan was a tiny, grey-haired angel with glittering blue eyes and perfectly manicured nails.  To look at her, you would imagine that she’d be into things like knitting, bird-watching and drinking tea from china mugs.  Well, she did love all of those things, but she also loved grisly murder mystery novels, swearing like a sailor and puffing cigarettes in secret.  She also loved dirty jokes.  But you would never have guessed that by looking at her.

-If you love someone, make it obvious.  Love isn’t for hiding away, it’s for sharing loudly and often.

– If someone has hurt you deeply, and you think they’ll do it again, you don’t have to let them back into your life.  Accept their apology if one is offered but don’t give them any more of your time if you’ve got a good reason to think you’re going to get hurt again.

– If things are looking grim, for the love of God, crack a joke.

– We don’t love people because they’re perfect.  We love the little imperfections that make them unique.

-If someone you love is keeping you dangling on a string, or is playing games with you, get rid of them.  If someone truly loves you, they won’t put you through the heartache and anguish of playing “hard to get”.  They won’t give you false hope and they won’t make promises that they don’t intend to keep.  You deserve better.

– Cedel hairspray is the best brand there is.

– A kiss, a song and a squeeze of the hand are sometimes all it takes to turn somebody’s day around.

– Sex isn’t the most important thing in a relationship.  What’s more important is choosing someone that loves you for who you are, who you can comfortably sit in silence with and who will support you no matter what.

– You don’t have to be the smartest person in the world.  You don’t have to be the most successful.  You don’t have to be the most popular or the most beautiful.  You just need to be open, loving and kind.  Nana offered love so easily, so effortlessly, to so many people.  And they all loved her back.  She wasn’t rich, or especially beautifully or fantastically smart, but her life was so full with the love she’d given and received.


  1. She was such a wonderful woman.

    This are all so lovely.

    I particularly like “If someone has hurt you deeply, and you think they’ll do it again, you don’t have to let them back into your life.” That is a mistake I have made too many times and intend to never do again.

    • I know what you mean. I don’t like the idea of cutting people out of my life, but sometimes you have to put a bit of distance between yourself and the toxic people you come across. And it’s OK to do that.

  2. this is the most beautiful thing i have read all week, probably all month, thankyou vanessa i admire your courage to write this

  3. Oh wow, I wish she was my grandmother! I only have bad memories of the one grandparent I was close to. Your grandmother was a fabulous woman, and I agree with all of her advice! Such precious treasures to have. I’m sorry you had to go through such a hard day, my friend, but I hope that thinking about your grandmother made you smile, and feel warmth and love in your heart!

    • She was a truly awesome person. It was a very hard day, but I try to remember that all of my pain and grief is rooted in love. I miss her so much, but I know that she’s still hanging about and hopefully we’ll meet again one day 🙂

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