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I wish I were able to turn back time.
Not for the gift of reliving my youth so that I may be young or pretty again but for a reason that still haunts me to this very day.
I was barely 18 when I had the opportunity to see my Grandmother who lived in England. I live in Australia. We had never met.
On my arrival whether it was the excitement of seeing her grand daughter finally, or for another, I do not know, but she suffered a stroke. She was bed ridden and due to being elderly & sedentary she could not move from her bed. Because of this she developed gangrene in one of her feet, which I would bathe and tend to. My Aunty who lived in the same house as my Grandmother along with I, tried to help her as much as humanely possible.
However, I was young and naive and stupid and I had pre-booked a coach tour to Lands End and also to fly to Majorca, so I left her behind.
I met an English beach photographer whom ‘I fell madly in love with’ (in the space of a few days) and whom I thought loved me….
I received the news whilst away (approximately 289 miles) that my grandmother had passed away.
My mother sent me a telegram (mobile phones were non existent) asking me to attend the Funeral…to represent the family..to represent her as she couldn’t fly over in time to be there herself.
I didn’t …I was young..I was selfish..I thought more at the time of being with this man whom I had met and thought we had a chance at happiness… it didn’t turn out that way.
When I returned home the guilt that I bore was insuperable. I spoke to my mother about it some time afterwards and we both cried, trying to absolve our grief.
It has never left me…it never will..
I hope my mother knows the grief I that I bore, which I still carry within me.
I wish I were able to be at my Grandmothers Funeral, to pay my respects, to tell her that I’m sorry and to forgive me for my young foolishness and stupidity.
I wish I were able to give her the cuddle that a grand daughter should have given her grandmother…but I can’t.