Sydney H. Stanton 1921-2011
My grandmother died today.
She’d been pretty unwell both in body and mind for a few years so I’m not in pieces (yet) – it was inevitable and I think in many ways a release.
I am glad she got to meet Jake about 18 months ago, which even if she didn’t know exactly who I was anymore or who this little person was who was running around her place switching things on and off there were a few smiles and the I like to think the odd moment of clarity.
She would have been 90 this year and I was looking forward to introducing her to Juliette, not for her benefit, or Juliette’, neither would remember or even be conscious of the event.
But I would have.
She meant more to me then she could know.
She was journalist for over 50 years, one of the first accomplished women in the field actually. She made amazing spaghetti and meatballs. She watched too much sports IMHO. She complained about the general state of the world. She had some of the most awful bath robes to ever to grace this planet. She had friends, family and colleagues who loved her more than life itself.
She also had an amazing capacity to be ‘difficult’ – apparently.
The only argument I can remember was about whether or not Grand Theft Auto 3 was appropriate viewing for my then 13 year old cousin Kyle. I said ‘well he’ll play it anyway and all this scare mongering is right wing bullshit’ and she said ‘but I don’t have to pay for it’.
We just got on, I think it was because neither of us asked any more of each other than to just be ourselves – we just agreed or disagreed and that was that. No point scoring, no need to be right, just enjoying the discussion.
If my father and grandfather became the commercial influences on my life then my mother and grandmother provided the moral and ethical backbone.
I miss her, and have for a very long time but I am glad she went quietly in her sleep and doesn’t have to suffer anymore the confusion and fear that accompanies advanced dementia.
Wherever the remnants of her existence are now – I hope they are sitting at a kitchen table, listening to the New York Mets on an ancient analog radio, reading a newspaper eating a bagel and locks and grumbling a lot.