On the concrete step of the back porch, sits a little girl. Dark brown hair tied up in pony tails. Skin sun-kissed from playing outside all day. She is only three and full of the innocence and beauty that being only three can bring. She laughs and plays, spending all day with her grandmother, her Nanna. In and out all day, holding onto her apron, cuddled onto her lap for a nap. They existed in nothing but happiness, where tomorrow simply meant more pomegranates and an afternoon nap in the sun.
My grandmother. My Nanna. I was only three and it feels like it was only yesterday. The most important person in my life is someone I only spent three tiny years with.
My memories and the finer details of this woman are hazy. I do not know her favourite colour. I do not know if she preferred coffee or tea. I do not remember her voice or her smile. I have no memory of her passing. I don’t remember when it happened or how I felt. My family don’t speak about it. It’s just one of those things. I don’t speak about her. It’s just one of those things.
Thirty years on and I can’t talk about her. I have never been able to. My throat swells. My eyes tear. I cry. She means more to me than many ever will. I do not grieve for her passing. I don’t wish for her to be here. Because she is. Her presence is absolute. Overwhelming. Sitting on that concrete porch, is as real today as it was then. But today, it means so much more.
I don’t speak about her, but I do speak to her. Almost every day. Almost every night. I have for years. She has never left me. Never left my side. Not even for a minute. I can feel her beside me. I can feel her presence in my house. There have been many moments when I knew that she was watching over my boys. It was because of her that I overcame many difficult nights. I have entrusted both of my boys in her care. In a way that is far greater than I ask from anyone else.
In the quiet of my mind, as the day draws its last breath and night closes in, she is with me. She is the voice I listen to. I never feel alone. It is because of her that I believe. I believe that life is greater than this. That life is more than what I can touch and feel with my hands. That my life is only the start and there is so much more to come.
In my tiny backyard, amongst my terracotta pavers and two raised garden beds grows a pomegranate tree. My grandmother had a pomegranate tree in her backyard. “She loved her pomegranate tree”, Mum said. I love pomegranates. It makes sense why.
In my tiny backyard, grows my pomegranate tree. I planted it for her. I planted it for me. So I could watch it grow. And change. It makes no sense. But I can’t live without that pomegranate tree.
Do you like pomegranates?