One of the things that I have in common with my cousin Richard is that our first names are the same as Grandma's parents and so it seemed poignant that we got on with her very well. We were also born months apart; he today and me on Christmas Day.
On Christmas Day 1975, when I was five, after lunch, we all went to see Grandpa in hospital. He had had a stroke and was sitting in a chair with a table in front of it wearing a hat from a cracker. He couldn't speak - although he did say, Good morning, Father,' when the priest came to see him- and looked sad to me. I also thought that he looked very undignified in what to me looked like an adult high chair and the party hat was totally out of keeping with the sombre atmosphere. I had no idea how ill he was. Being five, I bounced in and announced that it was my birthday and was sharply reprimanded that he knew. He died on 29th December.
On Friday I went briefly to Richard's birthday drinkies and as it was the day after Grandma's anniversary, we were having a reminisce. He was on a bus on the way home from the equivalent do when my Aunt phoned him. Anyway, it turns out that he was indeed correct when he said that the official documents are wrong. She died on 5th October. I've just had lunch with my folks and checked. Grandma died on a Friday night before midnight and when my Mother and Aunt went to the hospital on the Monday, the date had been recorded as the 6th. They were in no state to argue, so said nothing.
Grandma 13th November 1916-5th October 2007.
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