Friday, January 8, 2010

Flashback Friday- 2002 Last visit with Granny

granny2002

This picture was taken in August 2002... it was my last time in Switzerland (I won't be back till the girls are much older, and can at least hike one mountain with me) and also my last visit with my Granny. This was one hectic trip, and a sad one. I went over with my family to celebrate my Granny's 90th birthday and it was filled with so many day trips and time with Granny that I barely got to see some of my friends and visit with the family that I was an AuPair for. For some background info... from August 1996-1998 I lived in Switzerland and was an AuPair (nanny)... the first 3 months of my stay in Switzerland was spent living with my Granny and trying to learn German (which I was never very good at)

My Granny was born Beryl Betty Warburg on August 10th, 1912 in England. She spent much of her privileged life being taken care of by nannies and servants. She never went to conventional school but was extremely well read (still reading French books to keep her mind sharp well into her late 80s). Growing up, I never knew my Granny that well because she lived so far away. I was always jealous of my friends who got to visit their grandparents every weekend. I never realized until I was much older that this was a plus for me because I got to travel lots when I was young. She lived in Switzerland (she married my Grandfather who was Swiss and moved there before she was married to teach gymnastics) Anyhoo... living with my granny was difficult at times because I was young and she was old... our lives and goals were different, but she tried her best and in the end I learned a lot from her. The picture above was taken on one of the last mornings I was in Switzerland. I had painted and given her the plate she was holding for her 90th birthday (what do you give an old lady that has everything?) I still remember when I left Switzerland... I remember standing in the train station in Basel with my granny, dad and Kevin... I hugged my granny, kissed her and said goodbye for the last time. I remember getting on the train with Kevin to start the rest of our vacation off to Germany and Amsterdam... I cried like a little baby knowing that it was the last time I would see her. To this day, it breaks my heart... its really hard to say goodbye to someone when you know its literally the last time you would see them. A little over one year later my granny passed away on December 12th 2003 from heart failure after she had an operation on an intestinal blockage.

Here are 10 things I remember about my Granny
  1. Her favorite colour was purple (she said it was a spiritual colour)
  2. She loved chocolate as much as I do!
  3. She was fluent in french, German, English
  4. She hated when I wore jeans (ladies don't wear jeans)
  5. She loved Switzerland, Basel was her true home
  6. She met with her British friends on the first Monday of every month at a restaurant (she had lots of friends young and old)
  7. She was proud of climbing the Matterhorn
  8. She had 4 siblings
  9. She always sent us money for new shoes when we were growing up
  10. She had meditation meetings every week at her home up until shortly before she passed away
I miss you and love you Granny... you will always hold a special place in my heart! May I grow up to be as loving and kind as you were.

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6 comments:

Nen said...

what a very sweet post! what great memories you have!!

ps-you have a flashlight on your shirt! LOL!

Oh Mandie! said...

What a great post! Your granny sounded like a wonderful and loving person!

Lisa Page Rosenberg said...

Granny sounds like a truly fascinating and deeply purple woman.

AlyGatr said...

I hardly knew mine either. We lived in Hawaii and she lived in New Hampshire. My Grammy loved purple too...especially purple pansies. I have a porcelain purple pansy brooch that was hers that I was given when she passed away in 1999. The smell of violets will forever remind me of her. Your Granny sounds like she was an amazing woman. I envy you getting to go to Switzerland to see her!

Christina said...

So interesting! Thank you for sharing. :)

CraftGirlAlli said...

What a sweet post! And how fun that you got to spend a few years over there! I always wanted to do something like that, but never did :(