“I’m not a doormat, I’m a welcome Matt.” – MJM
My Nanna always had this saying, I’m not a doormat, I’m a welcome Matt. I guess it came down to the fact she was friendly but not to be taken advantage of and walked over. I wish I had some of that in me, I’m still learning about not being walked over and used by people.
I’ve had several memories pop back in my head over the past 12 months from other people in my life. I do miss my grandmother, she essentially raised me on a part time basis. I used to take a trip from Victor Harbour to the City (Edwardstown to be exact) once or twice a month, via the bus, and stay at her house on a weekend.
She lived in one of those red brick housing trust places. While the house has been levelled I can still remember it like it was yesterday. The royal red shag pile carpet in the lounge room, the kerosene heater that was in front of the fireplace. The retro lino and the laminex kitchen table to go with it.
On the warm summer nights I used to lay on her bed next to her under the window, and she’d tell me all sorts of stories. How when people turned 100 they’d get a letter from the Queen. Although she never quite made it to get one herself. How when they used to go to the cinema as a girl, and you wouldn’t just see a movie. You’d get news and all sorts of other things, all of it being fictional, like going to the moon. When eventually became a reality which she got to witness. She got to see some amazing feats, but also had to endure two world wars, the great depression and a handful of other smaller wars as well.
My Nan always had a fantastic sense of humour too, never crude. But quick witted. When I was a teenager around 16 or so she started nicknaming me “Creepin’ Jesus”. Someone of my stature who made no noise, and still don’t do this day, when they walk around. Later in life she lived with us as her age was getting on, down in Victor. She would be making a cup of tea and I would come out from being asleep and scare her because I’d be standing next to her and she wouldn’t have heard me coming, “jesus”. It happens now even with clients at work. Maybe I could have been a cat-burglar given how quiet I am!
I do miss her a great deal, I think she was always wise when it came to life. I didn’t see it back then but I certainly see it now. There are times where I wish I was able to go and ask her for advice, but unfortunately I can’t anymore, and it’s been a long time since I spoke to her. I always struggled when it came to seeing her, after her stroke I think I wanted to preserve the memory of how great she was, and all those stories she told me. Rather than to see a frail woman in a nursing home who’s stuck between the 1940’s and 1990’s on a frequent basis.
Last year would have been her 100th birthday too.