I woke up grumpy this morning, and when I’m grumpy I tend to reminisce… All I could think about is my Grandmother..   Nana, I love you!

Olive Kathleen Rance

19/01/1922 – 22/03/2011

My gorgeous Nana!!

My Grandmother was an inspiration – Even at the age of 89 (almost 90!) she kept an immaculate home and a beautiful garden. Her garden was her passion and her pride and joy. Nothing would stop her from being up a ladder trimming vines or keeping her perfect lawn rolled and weed free. It was always beautiful but never quite perfect enough for my Nana, who would always be moving those poor plants. She jokingly said her plants needed zips in them – her creative flair had her constantly changing things. She was always moving her perennials, and her annuals were no sooner flowering and they were ripped out and replaced with the next creative project – a different look a different array of colours. The garden was beautiful and always changing and improving. I loved coming down to Christchurch to visit her.. meeting the international students she would have staying and sitting down in the morning having coffee, hot toast and home made marmalade with her in the sun room she had had added to her little cottage!

My Nana was Gorgeous! Always elegant and fashionable and never gave up an interest in looking good. She often took my breath away at how beautiful she looked – growing old gracefully and with such good taste. She adored her family, and all of us are so, so proud of her. I’ve spent hours pouring over photos of Nana from the photo albums my mother has kept over the years of Nana’s various trips up to visit us.. (the few family members in the North Island!!

My sister, Nana and my Brother…

I loved my Grandmother… she never cared that I had pink hair, or danced crazy like or that I was the ‘wild’ one of my very conservative family. I liked to think I took after her in my energy. She never stopped, she’d go to exercises in the morning, come home for a nap then be out in the garden or visiting my Auntie and Uncles farm just out of Christchurch. I didn’t get to visit her often enough and missed seeing her after one of the big earth quakes when I was in Christchurch… She had photos of all her grandchildren all over the house which she’d show off to all her friends.. She had 5 children and pretty much raised them on her own as my grandfather passed away when my mum was only a teenager. She scandalously re-married at 70 and even though it was short lived I admired her spontaneity and follow her heart attitude!

If you have grandparents still alive – Go spend time with them, find out what they did in their lives and how that’s effected you and where you are now. How they brought up your parents and if they swore never to be like your grandparents (and unwittingly were!) Tell them how much you love them, cos life is short and they might not be around for ever… They were around before there was even such a thing as the internet and have mostly adapted or ignored the change in technology. So much has changed since the days when my Nana was a teenager, but I see myself in her when I look at old vintage black and white photos of her!

My mum invited me home over the weekend and told me she was giving me some of her inheritance from my Grandmother… I’m still in shock! I really want to do something with it that would really make Nana proud. I want to do something special and inspirational – like she would have done! I just don’t know what!

Rest in peace Nana.. I will always love you forever.  Thank you for being my inspiration!
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