Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Memory Like An Elephant

Since our darling Grandad died it had become very obvious that Nanna was, shall we say, if not losing then seriously, misplacing her marbles!

For this reason Melanie and I discussed the possibility of bringing her on a trip of a life time to South Africa. "How hard can it be?" I say. "So what if we have the same conversation over and over again!" 

So, it is agreed and the day comes when I must pick Melanie and Nanna up from Cape Town Airport, some five hours drive from the Wilderness.

On the drive back to Wilderness, Nanna nods off in the car and awakes two hours later declaring, "That was a lovely holiday, are we going home now?".

We all laugh except Melanie who has had a 12 hour flight having the same conversation over and over again.

Now Nanna is a feisty old girl and is very game for most things. So, we decide to take her to meet the elephants, which she loves and is totally taken care of by a young Guide from Botswana who says she is just like his Grandma! 

On the way home and another cat nap in the car. When she awakes I ask did she enjoy the elephants and her new 'toy boy'? The response was "what elephants?".

As a treat for Melanie I enquire about shark diving just for the two of us and my dear sister will Nanna-sit.

I take the shark excursion leaflet around to Melanie and Nanna who are relaxing in the sunshine to ask what they think. Melanie's face lights up and she shows the page to Nanna who says" I think you may be pushing me a bit too far this time dear, I am not swimming with sharks!” 

We are most relieved to be taking a break from the test of our patience. Driving off like two naughty schoolgirls and full of enthusiasm only to be dashed by a phone call to say the water isn't clear enough and they must cancel. "No!!" screams my normally level headed daughter. So, retail therapy to the rescue. 

The next day Nanna remembers the elephant’s - ahhhh!  Patience now restored we are feeling guilty and decide to take it a step further and book to take Nanna for an elephant ride. She was accompanied, of course, by Melanie just in case either Nanna and or the elephant collude to make a bid for freedom.  How wonderful to see this feisty lady of 85 years climb on top of an elephant and squealing with delight(?) off they go through the bush for an hour and return looking for the next thrill! 

On her return to England Nanna told her carers and neighbours that she had a wonderful time but that she had been sent off on an elephant all by herself and that she hadn't been fed for two weeks!

It was to be her last holiday before she went into full time care but what a holiday and what wonderful memories for some of us!!

Linda xxx

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  1. What a lovely story Linda, as someone who has first hand experience of your Nanna and our one just like her (though in memory only), I know exactly what you mean and it made me chuckle, especially to think of her on a Elephant! She is indeed one brave and game lady!
    Lisa xx

  2. My mother sounds like your nanna. Hard work, isn't it? Mind you, I don't think she would go on an elephant and I have to say I wouldn't either. Braver than us.