It’s been so long since I’ve seriously written anything. So long that I feel like I simultaneously have nothing and everything to say. For now, I’ll do the easy bit.

Why did I start writing again?

Bertha was (is?) my grandmother. I never called her that, she was always Gogo to me. She died this year, on April 22nd, from fighting too many long battles. One thing that really affected her these last couple years was dementia. It turned her into a shell of the woman I’d known as a little kid but I loved both versions of her fiercely.

She was everything I want to be when I grow up. A commanding leader, who was both graceful and immensely caring. I craved the approval Bertha could never give me. I wanted her to say she was proud of me, in those exact words, to say I deserved to be called her granddaughter.

It was foolish to desire such approval when most of the time she lived in a world which I didn’t exist in. A world she knew decades before I existed. Foolish as it might be, the concept of getting her approval one day drove and inspired me, now it hurts me when I succeed in something and can’t share it with her.

Bertha I miss you, both the strong woman I loved fearfully as a kid and the frail one I adored as an adolescent. I miss your class & style, how well you looked after yourself and your home. I miss your love, that you gave so openly to everyone who came near you. I miss the little things, your voice, your quirky habits, your sense of humour.

This is for you. Wherever you are, I don’t want you to miss a thing. I’ll never get that approval, but I’ll never stop striving for it.