COLIN DRURY - Shared lives and shared memories

MY nana died last week, which was rubbish – for her, obviously, but also for us.

She was 88 years old.

It was a good innings, someone said – as someone always does – and they were right.

Not as good, perhaps, as Ali Cook's 235 not out against the Aussies in the first test this winter, but it's not the done thing to debate details like that at a funeral.

Best to stay quiet except to thank the vicar and praise the readings and tell old uncles how well they look for, what, 85? Never? Well, they're putting in a pretty decent shift themselves, so they are...

She wasn't much interested in the Ashes, anyway, my nana.

She wasn't much interested in cricket full stop.

And yet each and every childhood summer you'd find me sitting in the stand at Trent Bridge, oversized cap on head, can of coke in hand, watching Nottinghamshire CCC, and you'd find her sitting right there besides me, sometimes asking questions, sometimes dozing off, always I suspect wondering just what sort of a game lasts for four days.

Strange ritual for a grandma and grandson to have, to go and watch a game of county cricket – especially when neither of us are (or were) ever that interested in sport.

But there you go. We did it once, and then we didn't stop until I was in my teens.

Up early. Number 49 bus. Packed lunch. Autographs at the boundary.

Chris Broad swinging on the off-side.

In my memory it was always sunny, although, considering this is England, I'm pretty sure my memory is lying to me.

We talked about those summers a lot this summer.

She'd moved into my parents house after my granddad passed away, and I'd done the same after walking out on a job that paid pretty good but wasn't worth any time.

She assured me I'd done the right thing, even though really I'm not certain she was so sure herself.

I'd make us a brew and sit a while in the conservatory each morning discussing what she was up to (not much) and what I was up to (not much) and the things we'd both been up to in the past.

Her memory was going then so, often, we had the same conversation, and she told me the same things and gave me the same advice and asked me the same questions but that was all right.

Slightly annoying for sure when once, after 20 minutes of talking, she inquired who I was.

"I'm your grandson, nana," I said.

"I know that," she answered like I was daft. "But what's your name?"

I laughed because what else can you do?

And once she asked when my granddad was getting home, and I had to tell her he wasn't getting home, and then watch her slowly remember, and then I didn't laugh.

Funny and strange and sad, just like everything really.

And now she's gone it doesn't feel all that different. It just feels the same except when I sat in my parents conservatory she wasn't in her chair asking if I was courting.

There was no-one to make tea for.

Everything is forever until it is no more, someone else said, and perhaps they were right too.

Got a view? Leave a comment below.

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