When I was really small, my family lived in Victoria, my parents and me, and my older brother.
My grandparents lived in Sydney, and because we lived so far away, they didn’t see us much at that age. My grandmother, being the creative person that she was, used to write stories for my brother and I, and my cousin too, who lived way out on a farm. She would then record them on a cassette and send them to us in the mail.
She wrote us stories about our cat Ben, about animals and princesses who lived in the bush. I don’t remember what happened in all of them now, but I remember listening to them and how hearing her voice made me feel. My grandmother was a beautiful woman, small and stylish, and the warmest and most kind person I think I’ve ever known. She had a sweet, kind voice and a real talent for writing, and I felt safe and happy listening to the tapes.
I loved that she had taken the time to write them for us, and that she somehow knew just the kinds of things that we would love to hear about. I felt so special that I had a story written just for me, and on tape too! I even liked listening to them when I was a few years older and she lived nearby.
But now, I’m grown up. My grandmother has gone, but her voice is still with me, in the choices I make and how I approach life. I learned a great deal from her.
And now, my brother has a little boy. This Christmas, even though he’s in Australia and I’m in London, I’m making him a recording of his very own. This time, it’s not a story I’ve written myself, but maybe next time it will be. It’s MP3’s online rather than cassette tapes by post, but the important thing is that it’s so nice to do be doing something that my grandmother did for us, to pass on that happy, warm feeling. It’s made me think of her a lot, and how wonderful it was to know her, how magical it was to be a child, and to connect some old traditions with new additions to the family.
What traditions make you feel close to your family? Join me for more by commenting below, subscribing, or finding me on Twitter @CravenWild or on Instagram @HermioneFlavia