Wednesday, 18 October 2006

Edna Dorothy Ford (1926-2006)

I've been very quiet over the last few days, very much in my shell - I haven't gone to work yet this week because the thought of facing 25 teenagers is insane. On Sunday night (UK time) I got a phone call I'd been dreading since the day we left Australia - my Grandma passed away. She has been going downhill for a couple of years now, but the cancer just got too much and she went in her sleep with my grandfather by her side.

My siblings and I really only had one set of Grandparents growing up - my dad's dad died when dad was only a teenager and his mum was sick for most of my life and died when I was 10. So mum's parents, Grandma and Pa were our Grandparents, but we never felt as though we missed out on anything by only having the one pair. Every time a new brother or sister was born, we got to spend time with Grandma. We went there during school holidays, often we had some of our cousins there as well, and we always had a wonderful time. When I was 4 and it was time for me to go to pre-school, Mum was pregnant with my sister and Dad was both working and studying, so it was decided that I would go to pre-school where Grandma worked. This meant spending almost half the week, every week living at Grandma and Pa's. I had my 5th birthday party at Grandma's because all my friends lived around her. Their home became my second home and my unique relationship with my Grandma began.

Grandma was surrounded with love. She loved her siblings, she loved her husband (no matter how much they argued, sorry, discussed) for over 60 years, she loved her children and grandchildren, she loved her job and the children she worked with for much of her life and she had many friends. All these people loved her back - our extended family still got together every year because she made it happen. She also loved the Lord and told me that when she died, she would go up to heaven and look after all the kids who had died too young and were waiting for their parents. That’s where she is now, with my little cousin Ally, waiting for us to join her. I'm sad that she's gone and that I won't get to see her when I go home at Christmas. I'm sad that she won't be around when I have kids of my own. But I'm also glad that she is at peace and isn't in pain anymore.

Grandma never wanted a sad, mournful funeral when she died and I'm happy that there is going to be a party after the funeral. The hardest thing for me right now is not being there. I'm the eldest daughter, the big sister, the big cousin and I can't be there for the ones that I love.

I talked to her last Tuesday night. It was early Wednesday morning there. We didn't talk for very long - Mum had been doing a good job of keeping us both updated on each other. But we laughed. And I'm glad my final memory of the wonderful woman that was my Grandmother is of the happy person who loved her life every day for almost 80 years.


  1. Sorry to hear about your Grandma Kate. Your words reflecting on her life are a great celebration of her life and your love for her. We are thinking of you and feel for you esp at this moment.We will see your mum etc on Sunday. Love from us.

  2. Your brother did you proud in the way that he read this to the assembled group at the church after the funeral. I have printed up a copy and will give it to Granddad next time we see him. Even looking at it today I still feel that you have the essence of who Grandma was all summed up in this. LOVE YOU

  3. Such beautiful words, Kate. Thank you for sharing your special relationship with your Grandma. Love Karen

  4. We printed this up and gave to granddad - he is showing to everyone, and I mean everyone. He has had only very positive comments and they are all very impressed by what you wrote about your grandma.