Anyone that knows me will know just how important my family are to me. I grew up in a loving home that I adored spending time in, and to this day believe I would do absolutely anything to go back there. My mum always taught myself and my siblings that we had to appreciate the family we had in the world, and for us, that consisted of very little people, however, that was no bad thing. Our family was a strong tight-knit unit that loved each other unconditionally.
Over the weekend my sister and I drove the long four hours down to Taunton in Somerset to visit our grandparents, and when I say long I mean long! The traffic was horrendous!!! At the age of 78 and 80, they are getting on now and both have dodgy hearts, but still, they are tottering along, living in a beautiful bungalow, pretty happy with life. Their lives are now mainly spent in their gorgeous garden where they grow anything from tomatoes to cucumbers! So fresh fruit and vegetables are always something that we seem to acquire whenever we visit, which is definitely a bonus! What you may not know is that my grandparents are essentially the guardians to my siblings and I. They moved over from the Algarve in Portugal where they used to live, when I was just fourteen years old and permanently came to live with us until 2015. These two people have been a very big part of my life, and ever since my mum died in 2015, they have been even more so.
Growing up with my grandparents, of course, had its ups and downs, as with three generations under one roof, it is impossible to not have argued!!! But in general, it was amazing! My grandparents witnessed everything from my first crush and heartbreaks to the first time I started driving a car. I still even recall my Grandad chuckling at me when I had just broken up with my first boyfriend, telling the rather distraught me, that there are ‘plenty more fish in the sea!’ It is safe to say they know me and my siblings inside out, the good and the bad, and more importantly, they love us no matter what!
Visiting them this weekend really highlighted to me just how much I appreciate them. They care about us so much, and ever since mum died have been the most incredible support to us. In all honesty, I don’t know quite what I would do without them, they are so central to my life. I phone them most days and the sweet thing is that one call from me absolutely makes their day! The funny thing is, when I was sat in their living room, telling my granny about my life, worries, and joys, I looked around their house and realised just how much history surrounds or little family, and just how incredible it is! My mum’s paintings hang from the walls. She painted so many different landscapes that are absolutely breathtaking, and I am honestly not being biased either!!! As well as these, many pictures of my grandparent’s horse racing triumphs surround the house. Horse racing comes at the forefront of our history as my grandparents used to own seven racehorses, as well as a betting shop called Geraghty Racing in Doncaster.
With my gran being my gran she persuaded my sister and I to watch a few of the horse races that she had recorded on tape from all of those years ago. As bored as I thought I would be, surprisingly I wasn’t, and to my delight even captured a glimpse of my grandad with hair in the video! The film continued and we enjoyed many laughs at how young my grandparents used to look and then suddenly the video changed and we saw them at a charity event that was remarkably being held by the Duke of Westminster! We came to discover that my granny had once fundraised for the NSPCC and in this video, the Duke could be seen congratulating her for her fundraising efforts! In all honesty, I was completely taken aback by this and it certainly made me realise that there is so much I do not know about my grandparents and their lives!!!
Ultimately family and where we come from is so important. Holding on to it and learning about your own personal history is special and something that you can pass on to future generations. I really urge you to appreciate those small moments and who you have in your life, as they are irreplaceable and precious. I know I do.