Grandparents can have a special relationship with their grandchildren. They don’t have the responsibility of molding and correcting children that parents do, so they can get on with the unconditional love part of the relationship.
Of my four grandparents, I knew my Granny, Margot, the best. We used to visit her every two years and stay for a few weeks when we were growing up, and then later she would come over for a month every year. She met both my boys as babies (Declan when he was only a few days old), and came to Callum’s naming ceremony (when he wore the Christening robe that had once been worn by Granny herself).
So I have lots of memories of her. The one that sticks most in my mind, though is a relatively recent one, from when she was last in Sydney. She asked me to explain some aspect of the restaurant where we were having lunch. And then stopped, and reflected. “I’ve always been a very curious person”, she said. “I think that is the reason I’ve kept my marbles all these years (she was in her late 80s at the time). “I’ve always wanted to know about the world, and how it works.”
So that’s the memory I’ll take of Granny, her life lesson to me – never stop wondering, always keep learning – you’ll enjoy life more.