I'd only known my nan for 38 years, my entire life but just over a third of hers - and yet I have such strong memories associated with her. Whenever I remember Nan, it's always about her kindness and happiness. When you think back to when she was born and what she had lived through, some of the darkest times in recent history and yet she seemed amazingly unaffected by it all. I genuinely can never remember her having a cross word to say about anyone.
Rather, I have very warm memories of my youth with Nan and Grandad, their warm-home and going to parks with Sam the dog or making echo noises in the railway tunnel on the way to the shops. I remember her frequently taking me on the 137 bus and me wanting to ring the bell to the driver all the time. I remember a time when I persuaded her to have some bubble gum, only to have to remove and clean it from her dentures. My favourite memories were in Magaluf, where we would holiday each year. My nan taking me down to the bar downstairs, playing a round of crazy golf, joinging me in some chocolate milk and watching me attempt to play Mario Brothers.
These memories are what nan meant to me, not just the situations but the sentiment behind them. She was always warm, always loving, always kindly and always loved to laugh. I worked out from a young age that I could re-tell her the same jokes time and time again, and she would still laugh - not because she had forgotten, but because she was kind and wanted to. In later years we would go to Vilamoura marina and walk around. She would ask for an arm to balance her - but I suspect she didn't need that, she just wanted to hold her grandsons arm.
Last week my nan passed away with the same grace and dignity that she lived her life, and I am left with these beautiful memories to cherish. I doubt I will ever meet anyone who had so much kindness inside, so much warmth for others and so many smiles to share.