Dear Enid aka Big Nan

Yes the time has come for another letter, I know some of you might be thinking when will she run out of family to write to, well let me tell you no time soon…………….lol

Anyway next up is my dad’s mum Enid so here it is……………..

Dear Enid

You were known to many in the family as “big nan” as your mum was known as “little nan” but I don’t remember ever calling you that, however, we didn’t have a real close relationship this I feel had a lot to do with the fact you lived in Sydney and back when I was a child the trip to Sydney took 4 hours not like today when you can be there in 2-3 hours. We didn’t make the trip to Sydney very often so dad’s children didn’t see you very often.

That doesn’t mean I don’t have any memories of you, I do, in fact I have one that took place when I was a child and I was staying at your place and my cousin Tracy who was a few years younger than me and we went out to some amusement park and Tracy and I rode in the back of a ute, I don’t remember much but I do remember that.

You passed away 14 years ago and none of dad’s children attended your funeral at the time I know it didn’t bother dad that we didn’t go but afterwards it did, he regrets telling us we didn’t need to go. I would have attended if dad had said he wanted me to as there is very little I wouldn’t do to make dad happy but I didn’t know you well enough to be that upset by your passing.

You always seemed closer to Aunty Pat or Aunty Denise’s children maybe they saw you more often, I think they did but you were also closer to Aunty Pat and Aunty Denise and of course Aunty Vicky then you were to dad.

I can’t say what type of person you were since I didn’t know you well enough although I will never understand how a mother can abandon their child and I do feel you abandoned dad leaving him when he was only 8 years old to be raised by his aunt and uncle although I do think Tom was around a bit more then you.

I would like to be able to say you made mistakes and I will not judge you for them as I am not a judgemental person but hell yes I do judge you I can’t help myself I just do when it comes to how I feel my dad was treated, I would like to say I am sure you loved your children but I can’t I don’t know that.

Maybe when we are both in heaven I will get to know you better and feel differently about you but for now you were my grandmother and I am sure you loved your grandchildren what grandparent doesn’t love their grandchildren but I do not and have never felt a close connection to you.


Lest We Forget

It was dawn on the 25th April 1915 that Australian and New Zealand soldiers landed at Gallipoli in Turkey, their aim was to take the peninsula this didn’t happen and the whole thing was a failure with casualties around 2000, it is believe that somewhere between 650-1000 Anzac die on that first day of the whole Gallipoli campaign.

The whole Gallipoli operation, however, cost 26,111 Australian casualties, including 8,141 deaths.

The date 25 April was officially named Anzac Day in 1916; in that year it was marked by a wide variety of ceremonies and services in Australia and New Zealand, including a commemorative march through London involving Australian and New Zealand troops.

The place where the troops landed on that day so long ago is now known as Anzac Cove, on Anzac Day1985, the name “Anzac Cove” was officially recognised by the Turkish government.

The cove is a mere 600 metres (2,000ft) long, bounded by the headlands of Ariburnu
to the north and Little Ariburnu, known as Hell Spit, to the south. Following the landing at Anzac Cove, the beach became the main base for the Australian
and New Zealand troops for the eight months of the Gallipoli campaign.

After the First World War, returned soldiers sought the comradeship they felt in those quiet, peaceful moments before dawn. With symbolic links to the dawn landing at Gallipoli, a dawn stand-to or dawn ceremony became a common form of Anzac Day remembrance during the 1920s.

The first official dawn service was held at the Sydney Cenotaph in 1927, dawn services were originally very simple and followed the operational ritual; in many cases they were restricted to veterans only. The daytime ceremony was for families and other well-wishers and the dawn service was for returned soldiers to remember and reflect among the comrades with whom they shared a special bond.

In the 1970’s and 80’s the popularity of Anzac Day seemed to be flaying but from about the late 1980s, there was an international resurgence of interest in World War I and its commemorations. Anzac Day attendances rose in Australia and New Zealand, with young people taking a particular interest. Now days thousands flock to Anzac Cove to pay tribute to those who have died not just in the First World War but all wars.

As a child I remember being at my grandparents place and watching the Anzac march with my pop, he would get really quiet at times and look sad but as I was a child I didn’t understand why he was like that. I didn’t think about the fact that he served in the Second World War and I didn’t know he was a prisoner of war.

They shall grow not old,
as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them,
nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun
and in the morning
We will remember them.

Lest we forget






Dear Tom…………aka……….Poppy Jenkins

This letter might have a different feel/sound to it; it is too my paternal grandfather Tom also known as Poppy Jenkins in the family. So here it goes

Dear Tom

Growing up you were always Poppy Jenkins but as an adult I have thought of you more as “Tom” that is because I do not feel a close bond with you, this I feel is because on more than on occasion you told me that I wasn’t as good a daughter as my sister Sue. Looking back I can’t help but feel that I was a failure in your eyes and that you didn’t love me as much as you did my siblings, maybe that is not true but it is how I feel and that is not something that can be changed.

I remember when mum & dad gave me my first typewriter you said why “would they give you that you will use it once or twice and toss it aside”, well I loved that typewriter and used it till I upgraded to an electric on, when they gave me a bike you said “you will not ride that” I rode it a lot.

When Sue took part in the 40hr famine you said to me “she is a good girl for doing that, unlike you” yes you said that and there was another time Sue did something and you said to me “she is such a good girl not like you”.

Knowing you I know you most likely meant nothing by it, it was just your way and you would say things without thinking of how they would affect a child but I still get upset by these statements.

I know that you liked to spend time with our family, as you would come to stay for a couple of weeks and you would be there for 2 or 3 months, however, when you would go and stay at your other children’s homes you would only stay a week or two. This is because you felt our place was a home, it was loud and messy but it felt like a home should feel, I know my Aunty Pat’s house was not like that and I think Aunty Denise’s home was the same.

I don’t think you knew what a close knit loving family was until dad married mum and became part of such a family, I know I am lucky that my dad is such a wonderful man, so loving and so caring and not afraid to show his love to his children. I never got that feeling from you, you always had a distance between yourself and the rest of us well to me you did.

Maybe it had something to do with the fact that you only had once sibling your sister Joyce but you did have 8 children of which my dad is the second eldest. Anyway you passed away in 1991 at the age of 74 and I did go to your funeral and I think I even cried a bit because I did feel sad about your death, you were around in my life a lot when I was growing up and that is a good thing being part of one’s life does create some kind of bond.

Dear Poppy

After nanna comes pop, so here is my letter to my pop

Dear Poppy

Yes you are poppy sometimes I would call you pop but often it was poppy and I remember you saying that you would follow nanna anywhere and you use to joke that she was the boss and you just did as you were told………….lol

You know pop you had the strangest sense of humour and it was often hard to tell if you were joking or not, but you were also very loving and there was never any doubt that you loved nanna.

It was hard for all us when in the 90’s you for reasons not know by anyone including yourself I think that you distanced yourself from the rest of the family and wanted nothing to do with us, those were hard years for all of us who loved you, but mostly for my mum, yes I was angry with you for hurting her like you did but in the end I don’t think you remembered those years.

I know that during your last months you were happy to see us and by us I mean me and mum, it was me and mum who would visit you in the hospital and then the nursing home and I know you are still hanging around the nursing home waiting for nanna to pass over and be with you.

You loved and cared for nanna so much that you didn’t want her to go into a nursing home and in fact you cared for her at home right up till you had to go into hospital yourself, I know that uncle Frank didn’t realise how hard it was to care for nanna till after you went into hospital and he tried to do it in your place. It was so hard that he decided it would be better for nanna to go into a nursing home, I do not think this would had made you happy but there was nothing to be done about it you were no longer able to care for her.

I know that after you passed away you would still play with the little ones Sydney-May and Temika at the nursing home when we went to visit nanna, as both Sydney-May and Temika told us you did and they were too young to remember you when you passed away being only 11 months old both of them.

Pop you are still very much missed and both me and mum think about you often, and even though some people do not think nanna knows you are gone me and mum do not agree as when we have been there we have talked about you nanna will have a tear roll down her face so as if the thought of you not being with her is upsetting.

Dear Nanna

Dear Nanna

Words cannot really explain how much I love you, how special our relationship was when I was growing up and when I became a mother myself. I spent some of the happiest times as a child in your house with you and pop, you always made me feel like I was your favourite grandchild even though you loved all your grandchildren the same. The years I went in to help you clean the office building and the dentist surgery were great I loved that I was the one who got to go with you.

This photo was taken in 1989 at my nan’s house Christmas Day.

Christmas was a special time and I loved so much that we went to your house for Christmas lunch because you could feel the love when one walked into the house, and you could smell the food and nanna you were the best cook. I remember Tim’s first Christmas with the family he couldn’t get over how many people there was at your place for lunch and how much food there was.

Now that you are older and frail and in a nursing home I still love to see you in my eyes you still look like the wonderful woman in the above photo even though the top photo is more what you look like now, it isn’t how I see you. When you speak which is not often it still warms my heart and takes me back to my younger days, nanna you will always be so special to me and I know there are some who might think you would be better off with God but I don’t want to lose you I love you so much and going to visit you brings joy to my heart.

Dear Mum

Ok I have done a letter to dad so now of course I have to do a letter to mum, everyone liked the letter to dad hope the one to mum comes off as well.

Dear Mum

Growing up you and I didn’t have the close relationship I had with dad, I don’t have any special memories of you and me from when I was young I am not sure why that is all I know that it is like it is, anyway that doesn’t mean we don’t have a special relationship now. I guess growing up I was a daddy’s girl and now I am a middle age woman I have become more then your daughter, I am your friend.

You are my best friend as they say, the closeness I have with you know is special, I love our nightly phone calls and Tim always says we could talk for hours about nothing at all and he is right and I love that.

You know mum when I thought about what type of mother I hoped to be one day I would always think I want to be just like my mum, because as a mum you are wonderful, loving, caring, and firm and fair and I wanted to be all those things to my children. To me you are everything a mother should be, of course as a child I may not have thought that but from around the age of 14 the thought of you as the perfect mother started to take shape.

You have always been the one person I could turn to when I felt like everything was falling apart and being mum to my three girls was just so hard, I have memories of me ringing you in tears because being a mum was so hard and I felt like I was failing and not living up to the high standard I thought mums should live up to that standard being you…………….

I use to wonder how you could have 5 children who didn’t feel jealous of each other and always knew that they were loved equally as I had Kathy-Lee who was jealous of Jessica and thought I didn’t love her as much as her sisters. I now know that it wasn’t anything I did wrong but for a long time I did think you had some secret of how it was done, you made being a mum seem so easy and that is why I felt I had failed.

You seem ageless mum, no matter how old you get you still have all the time in the world for you children, grandchildren and great grandchildren, I hope I look as good as you do when I reach your age and I hope I don’t have to find out what life is going to be like without having you around. I love you mum, you are who I always wanted to be like you are the reason I only ever wanted to be a mother and grandmother I am so proud to be called your daughter thank you mum for being so bloody amazing and such and inspiration to me and my siblings.

You are the reason Dawson is so stable I do not know where he would be without you, he is a boy with a lot of love in his heart and that he gets from you, you have shown us all how to love and you have given us all the feeling of being loved and accepted for who we each are.


Love Jo-Anne