Sweet Sixteen 21/1
At sixteen I was so full of doing my O levels, of getting my exams, that I don’t think I had time to think what I wanted my life to be. On reflection, I wonder if part of that is the consequence of being a navy brat. Of always moving, never being in the same place for too long. whatever?! I still don’t spend much time thinking of the future…
What I do remember about being 16, was the sadness. It was a year of deaths: a suicide in my year group, of a lad who wore a parker coat ’round school and wasn’t of my crowd. And Nana who was.
Living with us, she was my world, and I missed her tremendously. I remember her in Ruthin hospital, laying in her bed, still ascerbic. Still concerned that I’d do well. Still my nana. I remember the funeral. My boyfriend’s dad – the undertaker – getting all concerned because the coffin was as cussed as she, and refused to go into the ground at the end of the service. I remember mum and dad and I laughing uproariously. I remember spending a lot of time talking to her that summer.
I also remember later than year, attending a funeral in the village. This time of someone much younger who died of a heart attack. I remember mum warning me not to be upset if someone walked on Nana’s grave. And I remember some one did, and said sorry. Not to us, but to nana. I liked that, and took it on board. Keeping the practice to this day, when visiting churchyards.
‘Excuse me stomping on your last resting place,’ has not been among my customs. Seems reasonable, though.