“I will be worthy of it!”

This is personal and has very little do to with WoW so feel free not to read.

My Grandmama was admitted to hospital last night, jaundiced and with some sort of infection. To say I’m scared is an understatement, despite the chaos and constant upheaval that was my childhood, my Grandmama was always there to anchor me. I tend to forget that she’s ninety now and frail, skin like crumbled paper and bones so light, it’s not a huge stretch to imagine her flying, floating through the sky, cackling with glee. Instead when I look at her, I see the woman she was when I was growing up. She taught me that the strongest steel is forged in the hottest fires, that regardless of what life throws at you, you pick yourself up and keep going. I know that the inevitable will come, that there is no turning back time and that one day, probably quite soon, I’m going to have stand up and give her eulogy. Mixing the fun, the picnics with ginger beer and sliding down banisters on cross channel ferries eyed disapprovingly by passer-bys with her struggle with blindness and deafness, with the fact that she has buried two husbands, a brother, a sister and a son.

I’ve always hated change, partly I think because my parents dragged me from pillar to post across Europe as a little girl and partly too because it makes me think of death. Of funerals and holes dug in stony ground, of that sickly scent of lilies and rotting wet leaves (it always rains at funerals). As soon as I made some friends, got settled into school, we were off again so I’d have to begin the cycle all over again. This was the pattern, inter-spaced with hours spent in churchyards watching as what was once a loved one was locked in a box and buried beneath the earth. “Home”, which meant first my Great-Grandmother’s and then my Grandmama’s was the only constant I knew, everything else was boxes, suitcases and learning to live somewhere new all over again. As an adult I like my life to be ordered and controlled, I like to know my schedule in advance and I hate surprises. Then last night I found out about my Grandmama before I logged properly into WoW post patch and somehow it felt like my world was rocking on it’s axis. I thought that I’d hate the game, the shared achievements, the simplified talents and the new travel form. As it turns out, I was wrong about most of it (sorry, not a stag fan) and now, whilst I’m waiting for the phone to ring, I’m comforting myself with my Great Grandmother’s words uttered before she died, rolling her coins for the ferryman over and over in my hand. I’m seeking comfort in something the rational side of my brain knows to be a lie but somehow, the ways of my childhood give me strength.

Earlier tonight, I found myself running through the Greatmother quest line in Mulgore.

Perhaps not the best choice in the circumstances but somehow I just ended up there and I know that both my Great Grandmother and my Grandmama would approve. Whether we like it or not, the world keeps turning and when that day comes, my final gift to the woman who helped me find my feet in this rocky world will be to honour her memory.

There lies a nameless strength in this —
I will be worthy of it.

Ella Wheeler Wilcox


10 Responses

  1. You are in my thoughts. I hope you get to spend some more time with your Grandmama. My Nanna is 92 and is going through similar troubles. She’s lived by herself for the last 10 years and has grown increasingly frail. She has pulled through a broken hip and several trips into hospital and I pray that yours will too. Huge hugs, Seph xxx

    • Ty Seph,

      Mine lives on her own too, which is a source of constant worry for all of us. It’s only recently that she was wrestled away from her deep fat fryer for example. She isn’t totally blind but her sight is really really limited, she can’t recognise family members if they are more than three feet away and yet she had a huge fight with my uncle when he said enough was enough and threw the fryer out.

      I just can’t imagine a world without her in it.

  2. I can understand where you’re coming from. I only had the opportunity to get to know one of my grandparents and was always very close to her. I hope for the best for you and esp. your grandma

    • Thanks Cymre.

      I know I’ve been really lucky because my other Grandmother is still alive as well, also I knew two of my Great Grandmothers, one dying when I was 17, the other when I was around 9 but this time is proving hard.

  3. Erinys -you spoke straight to my heart, of all of us who are children (and ultimately we are children)–I am so honored you have shared your heart and inner-home with your writing – thank you.

    • I think sometimes putting your thoughts down on paper (or it’s virtual equivalent) helps you figure out how to deal with things you’re struggling with. At least it does for me.

      I’ve never been good at dealing with loss, perhaps because I spend far too much time living in my head and there it’s easy to pretend that death never happens. That my childhood dog is still snoring on my mother’s sofa, his paws twitching as he chases fat little rabbits through the corn fields. That all those bodies I’ve seen lowered into gaping holes are still drinking coffee and reading books or lying on a sun drenched beach somewhere. It’s only at these points where people talk of dying that I get dragged kicking and screaming to face the reality of life.

  4. Thinking of you and hoping things work out well for your Gran, hugs.

    • Thanks. It’s just a waiting game now. Although in her own words “[she] is lucky”. Her first husband (my Grandfather) never saw past his 25th birthday.

  5. Sorry to hear about your grandmother, hope she pulls through- *hugs*! My (only living grandparent) grandmother turns 90 this month, it’s hard to think they won’t always be there, isn’t it? My other grandparents died about 15+ years ago, I still miss them so very much.

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