A letter to our Grandmother, by Louise Hale (née Crawshaw)

Dear Grandma, I think I can speak for all nine of your grandchildren when I say we were lucky to have you as our Grandmother.

It is only now that we look back, that we truly realise how generous and kind you were and how much effort you went to, to make us happy.

You were one of the reasons that Christmas was so special to us. You brought the magic of Christmas to the family and you brought us all together. There were several Christmases that we all descended upon your house. Looking back, we don’t know how you did it all! You would cook wonderful food. We particularly remember your Christmas cookies which had sultanas and cherries on them. Both Sarah and I have tried to make them since, but they have never tasted quite the same.

You made delicious roast dinners and Bolognese sauce. When dinner was ready you used to ring the bell and we would stop what we had been playing and gather around the dining room table.

We also remember staying with you in the holidays. You would take us on the bus or the train to all sorts of interesting places. You always had peppermint lollies in your bag. You took us to the museum, Stanton library, the aquarium, the botanic gardens and on the manly ferry. Sometimes we used to go shopping at Chatswood. You always looked smart and wore a hat and a nice dress. Every day was an exciting adventure and we’d go to bed exhausted but happy. In the mornings I remember climbing into your bed and you reading us childrens bible stories.

Your house was always full of toys, some of them saved from when our parents were children. When you’d come to visit us you’d always bring some sort of trinket or gift.

You used to teach us how to paint and you used to let us dress up in MaryAnne’s old clothes and have fashion parades. You loved your garden, which was always so beautiful. You taught some of us how to make ballerinas out of your flowers. Even towards the end, you loved flowers.

More recently we remember visiting you at your house. We’d have a cup of tea and there would always be biscuits or cake. You took a keen interest in your grandchildren and would tell us whatever news you had of the others. You always had new photos to share. I think you must have cared about us a lot and I know you prayed for each and every one of us.

I am glad I got to tell you what happy memories you have given me and how much I appreciated every thing you did.

As I was thinking about you earlier in the week I looked up the word “Grandmother” on the internet. I came across the following saying which I feel applies to you perfectly. “Grandmothers may hold our tiny hands for only a short while, but they will hold out hearts forever.”