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Miss You Nannie – A Mini Book of Memories


This post contains a high volume of emotion and personal insight, so be warned.

This time last year I got the phone call.

The phone call that I knew would come one day, but I also knew that I would never really be ready for. The call which I am sure everyone will experience in their life at least once, but once is one time too many.

I had just arrived at work and my brother Roger called me. Roger never calls me in the morning. My sister, yes, my Mum, yes; not Roger. Weird. Five seconds into the call, I knew. Roger is the joker in our pack, the mischief maker and ring leader of all trickery, a real comedian. But there were no jokes, even within the first five seconds – that was unusual. The tone was subdued…I knew.

Nannie was gone. Passed away.

Nannie Hoey was one of those people who would kill you with kindness. She lived close, and would visit every day. I spent most nights at her house when I was little, and we had Sunday lunch at her house most weeks for many many years. She loved animals, and tolerated them more than people, and would never want to go away on holiday in case anything happened to her beloved cats and dogs. She was a worrier, was scared stiff of thunderstorms and the sea, and she always had to have her nose into everything. She was my nannie, and i loved her to bits.

But nannie had been slipping away for over a year. She was changed, losing her memory, losing her mind, driving everyone crazy in a way that made you feel guilty because she couldn’t control it. Her personality changed, her loving nature shadowed by the darkness of dementia.

But I didn’t want to remember the person she was over the last year of her life, because that wasn’t the person she was, and so throughout the weeks following her death, when the pain was still raw; I noted down a collection of memories that I had about Nannie that I want to live on for forever and ever, so I could put these in a little book as a keepsake.

For a long time it was just too difficult to do it. I had the idea and inspiration to make the book, and I knew what content I was going to use, but the act of making the book was too difficult, it was still too raw.

In June I gave it another go, and it was much easier. They say time heals all wounds, and I guess it is true, although scars still remain at times. It still makes me sad that my (future) kids will never get to meet my nannie and experience these memories for themselves, but at least they will have an insight into her personality through this little book.

So here it is Nannie – these are 24 things I remember about you. On the anniversary of your death, may this book be a tribute to your long and loving life. I love you and miss you. x

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{ 5 comments… add one }
  • Bekka August 8, 2009, 4:08 pm

    What a stunning way to remember a lady who was obviously amazing.

    I loved looking through the pages – their stylish simplicity helping me to focus on the memories. I think this will be a fantastic way to share your memories with both those who did not know her and those who did

    Well done



  • Carmen August 8, 2009, 10:11 pm

    This is stunning Lesley. I know how you feel. I cannot believe, it’s inconcievable to my brain, that my youngest will never know my Mum. It just doesn’t compute. She always said the same about myself and my little sis not knowing her Mum and it really registers now how that felt to her.

    This is a beautiful tribute and I know how hard it must have been to do. I’ve only managed one page about Mum. But I’m so glad I did do it because it’s very therapeutic to look at and remember the good stuff before the illness.


  • Ashley August 17, 2009, 12:02 pm

    This is very beautiful. I love the simplicity so that you can only think about the memory.

    I also lost my Grandma last year, in September, and I struggle often with the fact that my children will not know her. I would like to make something like this for them, something to show them what made her so special to me, and everyone else.

  • noreen stack August 17, 2009, 4:29 pm

    Lovely album & great tribute.
    I want to make one, could you tell us how please?
    It looks like the pics were printed on the chipboard but how ……
    Thanks a bunch

    • Hungryheffy August 17, 2009, 9:55 pm

      hi noreen, thanks for your lovely comments. i made the pages in photoshop and printed them directly onto cardstock, then i stuck them back to back. For the pages that had pattern paper on them, I stuck this on top of the cardstock so these pages are a little thicker on the ends. Do you have photoshop, if so i can email you the file i used, email me direct at lez@hungryheffycrafts.com

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