The 27th of December marked another loss for our family when sadly our Grandma Ruth died following complications after an acute stroke on the 21st December. She was 87.
I visited her a lot in her last few days. The first few times she shrugged off my hand but that last time (that I didn’t know was the last time) she squeezed my hand, opened her eyes a sliver and made a noise to me. I really felt like we connected in that moment. If she could have spoken words, I’m not sure what she would have said but I believe that she knew it was me, that she knew I was there and that matters to me more than anything. As I left her that day she looked better than she had the previous few days. Later that night I rushed to be by her side but I was a few minutes too late. I’m so pleased I saw her that day and that we had that connection. I’ll treasure it forever.
When she squeezed my hand I took a photo. I’m not sure why; it almost seems like an odd thing to do. But maybe somewhere I knew that I wouldn’t see her alive again.
Grandma was renowned for her baking. It reached far and wide. Our friends, work colleagues and neighbours all loved it when we came back from visiting her with loads of cakes. I even took a ginger cake back to France with me one time! She always baked, ever since I can remember. She was always baking for other people. It was her way of expressing love, gratitude and friendship. She made my wedding cake and Stanley’s Thanksgiving cake and I was so proud to say that both occasions were all the more special and personal because of this.
I have her recipes (even the ginger cake, though it’ll take a bit of working out) and one day we plan to do a Grandma Ruth Bake-Off in her honour. I doubt we will be able to recreate her masterpieces to her standards though! She will live on through us and the love of baking (and cake!) that she instilled in all of us. I am also lucky enough to say that I have her entire name, Ruth Maddison, encased in mine as my two middle names. I’ll try and do her proud with the baking!
Rest in Peace Grandma. You were a funny one but we all loved you regardless.