For my brothers and sister and I, every childhood family holiday was to Hobart, staying with Nanna and Grandad. Later on, we would see them more often as they took their caravan to Far North Queensland each winter, with a long stop in Melbourne each way. On those trips, Nanna would take charge in our home to help Mum - she would be straight in cooking some meals to freeze for us, ironing all the clothes, making sure we were stocked up on fruit cake and other goodies.
She would dote on us, bring us presents, warm our towels over the heater to snuggle us up in after a bath, and sneak sweets to us when Mum left the room. When we were in Hobart there was always considerable thought into what each of us liked to eat. Coco Pops was the usual treat that we were only ever allowed to have at Nanna's, and she would also make sure my love of eating leftovers for breakfast was taken care of.
Nanna was never happier than the times her house was full of family - and that was quite often. Everyone knew the door was always open and the biscuit tin would be full of lemon slice and Anzac biscuits. Jokes were flung around the room, amid non-stop laughter.
My most recent memories of Nanna are from when we took Abbey to Hobart to meet her and Grandad. They loved her, of course, and couldn't believe how strong and determined she already was. Nanna had a couple of quick holds (they were brief due to Abbey's desire to escape from anyone trying to cuddle her!) and we managed to get a couple of pictures: the one above, and this one of the four generations (Nanna, Mum, me and Abbey):
To Nanna and Grandad, family was always number one. It is something that hit me with unbelievable force at Grandad's funeral, and comes back to me now: they both lived long lives and were surrounded by family who love them and hold memories of countless great times and so many laughs, as well as support and loyalty through the not-so-great moments. What more could you want from life?
I certainly couldn't ask for a better role model than Nanna, and I intend to continue to make her proud.