It’s my nan’s birthday this weekend. She’s holidaying in India so I thought I would celebrate in her honour by contributing to this endeavour. My nan also wouldn’t want me to spend any money on her. Each time I’ve tried to celebrate her birthday – even with a single shared slice of egg-free birthday cake – she has fiercely objected, telling me that she doesn’t need anything as long as she has me. I’m aware it’s an expression but I choose to take it literally. (It’s an amazing feeling but it is a big responsibility for someone who also needs to focus on managing their new blog.)
My nan is in her 70s. She was born in the Punjab during a time when accurate recording of birth dates and years was uncommon. Based on the age of my mum and my nan’s siblings, I am confident that my nan is in her 70s but we’ll never truly know if March is indeed her birthday month. I’ve studied her behaviour in depth to see if she exhibits the characteristics of a Pisces and I’m not convinced she does. I would personally say she’s more of an Aries.
I distinctly remember a day, over 25 years ago when I was no older than 10, when my nan was taking care of my siblings and me during half-term. We lived in a three storey house at that time so, when the doorbell rang that day, I offered to answer it leaving my nan and siblings in the living room on the first floor. It was a courier delivering my nan’s medication. He handed me a paper bag before taking out his clipboard holding a form and asking me her age. I told him. “I think she’s 199”. He wrote down the answer and left. When I gave the bag to my nan she was surprised that the courier didn’t ask for the payment for her prescription. Why would he? At 199 she comfortably qualified for free medication courtesy of the NHS.
I’ve been guilt-ridden ever since that I swindled our precious NHS that day when I innocently attempted to guess my nan’s age. It is now time for me to right that wrong.
So, in honour of my nan’s birthday, I have made a donation to the NHS. I have donated the current day cost of a prescription, £9, to the hospital where she had a knee replacement surgery a few years ago. Her consultant for the procedure, Mr James Smith, was exceptional. He was attentive, kind and extraordinarily talented. He and the nursing team took wonderful care of my nan.
I wish you a very happy birthday, nan. It doesn’t matter if you’re in your 70s or a double centenarian, you’re an absolute legend.