A healthy food & lifestyle blog specifically catering for & dealing with the symptoms & conditions of : Endometriosis, Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) & Intracranial Hypertension (IH).
Looking at healthy food & food alternatives- redesigning classic recipes & new recipes;
Dealing and living with chronic health conditions on a daily basis- & research about the conditions;
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Tuesday, 17 September 2013

The Last of a Generation...

The same day that I saw my new Neuro Dr O., I got a call from my Dad bearing some horrible, but slightly expected news.

He was getting ready to fly up to Murwillumbah, the Tweed Valley, as my Nan's health was getting even worse and that it looked like it was time to say our goodbyes.
My Nanna was diagnosed with lung cancer several years ago- she didn't smoke and she was a healthy person, it was unexpected to say the least!!
She did a few rounds of chemotherapy but found that it was making her sicker, so stopped and decided to enjoy life.
For most of it she helped look after Grandfather (until his death last year), but she had an amazing little veggie patch and a great garden which she loved to tend. As the years went on and when she became ill my cousins, Aunts and Uncles who live close to her helped her to manage the garden.
Nanna was a sewing feind, she was always making something be it- tid bits for the local market, items for the business she ran with one of my Aunts (sewing and alterations- mainly children’s clothes but also wedding dresses, costumes and other things), and then later in life making dresses for young girls in an Orphanage in Africa!!
And she spent hours in the kitchen, not just because she fed 5 children and A LOT of grandchildren and great grandchildren, but because she enjoyed it!!
She was famous for her vegan gluten steaks- which were oddly made out of vegemite, I know sounds strange but they were yummy!
In the last couple of months Nan had been in and out of hospital with a chest infection, she had a tough time fighting it off and needed the oxygen all the time.
The cancer had also spread throughout her body, causing her pain and lowing her immunity.

I was lucky and I feel privileged that I got the chance to say goodbye to Nan and to tell her that I loved her.
I gave Dad a phone call the day he arrived to make sure he got there ok and to ask him to give Nan a hug, he happened to be at the hospital at the time, so put the phone on loud speaker... Nan didn't say very much and that is ok, the fact that I got the chance to tell her I loved her was enough for me.
That evening she passed.
It will be something I will hold close to my heart for a very long time, she was a very special woman to me!!

Several days later M. and I drove up for the funeral and the beautiful service to be held in her honour.
It was nice catching up with family even though it was a tragedy that had brought us together- it was the first time that ALL of us were there (on Dad's side of the family), even my Mum came up to support us and Dad (they split back in 03').
The photos of Nanna's life during the church service were amazing, I knew my Nan was beautiful but I never realised just how much some of my cousins and I look like her!!
I feel very special that I look like her and that I am able to see features of hers staring back at me when I look in the mirror.
I also love that we share passions- sewing, gardening, and cooking.

At first Nan's death didn't really hit me- I was sad, but I was also very happy as she was no longer in pain and in her faith and beliefs she was being reunited with Grandfather again.
But it was like I wasn’t really giving into the sadness, I was being ‘tough’.
But this all came crumbling down when my health started to get worse and with it my mental health too- nan’s death had affected me much more than I had realised.
I was mourning not just her loss but also the fact that she was the last of a generation for me- I have no more Grandparents!!
I never knew my Poppy and I have fleeting memories of Nanna L (my mothers parents), Grandfather passed last year and now Nanna has passed- I kind of wish that we had grown up closer to them all, or that I had contacted or gone out of my way to see Grandfather and Nanna more…
I was finding it hard to remember things about Nanna, the same way I do about Grandfather, very specific detailed things- where we were, the smells and colours around us, what we were talking about/ doing, how I felt at the time.
Not being able to do this with memories of Nanna made me feel even worse- I thought maybe because of my IIH my memory was faulty, or that I don’t know I just couldn’t remember…
But when I saw my psychologist/ hypnotherapist she talked with me about everything and helped me to understand and realise why Nanna’s death was hitting me soo hard, what she meant to me, and that it was ok and even normal that I couldn't remember things like I do with grandfather.
And it’s because our relationship was different, there weren't specific things we would do or talk about- we would do everything and talk about everything together!!
She said that I would be more likely to remember her touch, her smell, her smile, her compassion…. And the fact that I share her interests bring us closer- I can think of her while I am doing things, think about how maybe she would do it!!
And no matter how often I called or visited my Grandparents they knew how much they meant to me and how much I loved them.
That they knew that every single time I was heading north I would ALWAYS, without doubt, make the detour to see them no matter what (sometimes going north & south)!!

I will end this post with something that I said to my brother on the day that Nan passed-

"It hurts because we love her soo much, we are saddened by our loss but are happy for her freedom".
I love you Olive Nancy Mae Dodds xoxo


  1. Very brautiful Tegan. My mum, your Nana, truly is and was an amazing woman. She loved her whole family, weather they lived near her or miles away. She would get excited talking about everyone. She knew everyone's interests and loved to share them. If we all share her name for many generations she will never be forgotten. ♥

    1. Thank you <3
      She really was such an amazing person!!
      Much love xoxo

  2. Nans are so very special. I miss mine too. Her middle name was Olive!! Hugs and love from the top end xoxox


    1. I like the name Olive, but you don't really hear it in our generation or younger ones.... must have been popular in their generation?!
      Might see if I can revive it in the future generation!!
      Love ya xo