This is one of those posts that I wish I didn’t have to write. That said, I write it with mixed emotions. Sadness, pride, happiness, gratitude. Last week we sadly lost our Nan, Nola Patricia Chadwick. 93 years young, she was an inspiration having raised (along with my Pop), 5 children, including my Mum. They then went on to have seventeen grand children and ten great grand children. By far one of my most treasured memories is the relationship she had with my Mum. A beautiful, loyal and loving partnership that I hope I can nurture for many years to come.
Those of us who are lucky enough to have their Grandparents with us in our adult years, know the heartache that comes with the time that you have to say goodbye. She has been here for so long, I just assumed that she would be here forever. People give words of comfort, with many praising the fact that ‘she had a good innings’. It’s meant to be easier when people are older, but for me, she has been here my whole life, and so it makes it harder to believe that she is no longer here.
Following her funeral last week, I wanted to share some of my beautiful memories of Nan, in particular so that my children can read back in years to come and hopefully add to their own memories of her. There is so much to say, and I’ve struggled to think and put into words what I want to say. So I’ve turned to the words shared by my cousin Sinead in her eulogy for Nan last week. With her permission, I’ve asked if I can share her sentiments, as they were perfect. As the youngest grand daughter, she summarised and share our love of Nan to a packed church. She gave those present a glimpse into a wonderful life of happy moments, and memories that we will cherish forever.
This is written for my family, for my children in years to come. To read and reflect on the life of an amazing women….in the words of Sinead Govan. My beautiful cousin.
Shared by Sinead Govan.
Today I stand here as Nan’s youngest granddaughter on behalf of 16 grandsons and daughters and 10 great grandchildren. We are truly privileged people to have had our Nan in our lives, from our childhood days to adult days Nan would do everything and anything she can for us.
We loved everything about our Nan, the flat lemonade she would give us when we came over, drawing with us on the blackboard in Balmoral ave, knitting lessons, her amazing hugs and phone calls-which she would always have to be reminded, to put her hearing aids in when on the phone and Nan’s rule about not calling between 4:30-5pm from Monday to Friday because that’s when Bold and the Beautiful was on – it didn’t take long before Nan actually took her phone off the hook for that half hour. Nan’s love and obsession for fashion – clothes (only from Fella Hamilton), shoes, and pearls – all of course which she hid from Pop when a new purchase had been made. I myself would often take Nan shopping, it would be a slow walk in to the shops but once she was in all you could ever see was this little head bopping from rack to rack.
Along with Nan’s passion for fashion she did not like any sort of baggy clothes on her grandchildren- Hamish once turned up at Nan’s in a pair of baggy pants, so she made him take them off so she could fix them – she cut them into ankle freezers and that was last of them for Hamish.
There was also nothing like going to Nan’s and stealing all her liquorice cubes and butterscotch lollies, she would always catch you doing it but she’d always let you keep going.
Our Nan knew everyone in Essendon, even if you didn’t live in Essendon yourself, she knew someone related who did, and of course everyone knew Nan because as she would say “she was a hot drop”.
The story of how my Nan and Pop met is a classic, and mainly because every time Nan would tell it to you she would say how she would play the field, she’d always have a man at the front door and one at the front gate but it was a man on a motorbike who stole her heart.
Nan was a lady of the stage, a beautiful singer, at Sunday mass and when playing the organ is when we all got to hear her sing at the top of her lungs. It was always a special time after mass to sit down and have a cuppa with Nan, young Majella would often go with Nan to mass and Nan just loved showing off another beautiful great granddaughter.
Nan loved when all the family would get together- all 40+ of us, she even still loved us after one Christmas where we dunked in the pool fully clothed.
Nan loved nothing more than cheese, sweets and baileys! Patrick had his first ever Baileys with Nan and we she handed it to him he said “Nan don’t we have it with milk?” Nan just replied with “No Pat we have it with ice”
Each time a grandchild turned 21 she would say “oh I just wanted to see you turn 21”well Nan you saw us all graduate high school, turn 21 and start having our own children. Of course along the way with 16 grandchildren Nan would get confused with names and call me Jane, Jane Shae and Justine Jane.
Nan loved her Essendon Bombers and her footy, she was a very happy woman when Dyson Heppell was playing as he was her pin up boy.
Nan was very proud of her Irish heritage, so Nan as your black-haired Irish girl, I’ll finish with an Irish Blessing –
May the road rise up to meet you
May the wind always be at your back,
May the sun shine warm upon your face, and rains fall soft upon your fields.
And until we met again, may God hold in the palm of his hand.
Nan would be so proud of you Sinead for your beautiful words. We all are.
Until we meet again Nan…..
Thanks for the bold and the beautiful memories