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Big Red. Gaye. Allison. Y'all know her by lots of different names but to me she is my Nana and today she's turning 80 years old.
She has always been an important person in my life, in fact most of my very favorite childhood memories involve my Nana. I remember so many sleepovers at her Symonds Street flat and playing dress ups with all her colourful scarves and high heels. I thought she was the fanciest lady around! She used to take me for walks along the beach with her metal detector, trying to find coins and other treasures. I remember her taking me to all sorts of fun places like World Expo 88, the Oriental Markets, MOTAT, One Tree Hill, Rendells department store and so many more. I always felt like each trip was an adventure and I was so excited to go with her. She would walk around these places with me, explaining how things worked and why, teaching me random facts and showing me how to get a bargain, or even something for free! dusty pink pastel dresses for bridesmaid
I grew up hearing stories about what a jet setter my Nana was and how often she was ahead of her time when it came to technology, humour and being a strong independent woman. She is the OG when it comes to 'Resting Bitch Face' and she was a great role model for a young girl to grow up knowing she never needed to rely on settling for a man to make her feel complete.
My Nana is definitely not a perfect person, but she had such a huge influence on me as a child that she most certainly has a hand in who I am now as an adult. I am a strong, confident, outspoken and clever woman and I know this is because of the direction she steered me in. I know how to shop for the best bargains. I know how to stand up for myself or make a cutting remark at someone's expense. I can tell a good joke and make a whole group of people laugh. And I know how to be resourceful with what little I have in order to live better. My Nana helped shape me into this person and I am forever grateful to her for all the love she has shown me over the years.
Sometimes our days together now are a little harder, with the Altzheimers clouding her memory of me and I can often see her struggle to try and place my kids, as she mistakes me for someone else, but even in those moments what is clear beneath the confusion is the obvious love my Nana has for me and my children. She might forget, but those memories will always stay with me.
I am truly lucky to have such a wonderful Nana and today I'm wishing her a very happy 80th birthday. We are lucky to have her in our lives x