Help me return home

Yesterday (Tuesday 21st November) I found out of my Nana's passing. In the afternoon I was writing my family christmas cards to send back to the U.K. in the evening I received a phone call from my mum to tell me they had found her passed. 

The weekend gone, my nan had been dismissed from hospital and put into the care of a home where she could be looked after around the clock. To my nan's dislike (for not being at home) she settled into her new home - which would have been for 6 weeks until they could find a permenant place for her to stay and also to evaluate her over this time frame for potentially dementia- but unfortunately she passed within a few days. 

My nan over the past years has been in and out of hospital on occasions, I guess when you reach the grand age of 89 you need refuelling every now and then and a good check over. She had more than her fair share and still found the strength to pick herself up and battle on. On one occasion being a rather nasty fall, hitting her head and causing bledding on the brain.

To look at she was a glamourous lady, she always had been. Fair skinned, she never sat in the sun, to our suprise some years back they found she had skin cancer, this was removed and she was treated immediately and made a full recovery. She was tall, very elegant and spoke very politely and warmly. She was always very well groomed and I remember her from a childhood memory for wearing her lovely pearl necklaces and clip on earrings and the array of perfumes she had, which as a child I was fascinated by. 

I lived with my grandparents for a period of time when I was younger and I have fond memories of them both, their beautiful home which they shared with me and all the family, the sprinklers they'd have on in the garden which I used to love jumping through in the summer and the way they made my porridge in the morning and showed me how to eat it without it being too hot. 

I have a memory of inviting a school friend round one evening after school and I didn't ask you and they showed up unexpectedly for you, I'm sorry for that, I always was a little cheeky.

We used to sit and drink tea and eat ginger biscuits, you always did have the best treat cupboard. Grandad used to give me fruit pastilles and I used to sneak mint imperials out of your bowl.

We would sit and watch The Sound of Music and listen to your old vinyls and dance like Fred Astaire. 

When Grandad passed - a few years shy of 20 years ago now, a piece of you faded. You always sparkled in any room, but the light didn't shine as bright when Grandad died, at times I would see a flicker of sparkle from time to time and other times I would see you mourn. You lost your energy and for that I'm sorry. When Uncle Phillip died, I saw more of you fade. Your eldest son, I know you thought you should have gone before him, but it wasn't your time and Uncle Phillip was tired. 

I'm sorry I never took you to New York like I said I would.  And I'm sorry I wasn't there before you left us to tell you how much I love you and to perhaps make you smile a little more each day until your final. 

In life I guess there are things I may regret doing or not doing, but what I can take from that ounce of regret, is to ensure I don't make the same mistake again or I grow to make myself prouder and to stand by the decisions I do make. 

I may have missed my opportunity to say goodbye to you personally, but this isn't about me- I know you were proud of me, I know you were always thinking of me and I know you are one of the only people in my life I could fully trust and talk to without judgement, with an open mind and heart and I THANK YOU for the endless support and unconditional love you gave to me, I will never meet anyone like you and I hope to grow gracefully like yourself and do you proud. I know that you knew how loved you are. We are all proud for the fights you fought and the strength you had inside you, you really suprised us all, but it got to the time where you were tired of fighting, so tired you learnt to let go. I'm sorry you didn't get to see your 90th birthday- December 6th, I'll never forget.

I'm not sure when the funeral may be, but I would like to attend and be around my family. Currently I am not in the financial position to be able to afford a flight home. I recently (in the last month) lost my job and although I am actively seeking work and picking up work where I can, I'm not in the position to have money like the cost of a return flight spare.

I have looked up costs and it appears aound $1500 (AUD) for a return flight to the U.K. around about now.

I have never done this before and the thought of doing this for myself is rather overwhelming, but if I am unable to raise enough funds that's ok, I will have my own memorial for my nan on the day of her funeral and will ensure I do something to remember her by. My other nan passed this year also and I did the same on that day in Australia. If donations are kindly made but not enough to return home, I will happily donate them to potentially a dementia charity or once discussed with my mum and sisters- could look at another charity if they feel I should support on behalf of my Nan. 

Dependant on when I hear the date for the funeral, I'm assuming within the next week or two at the latest, I could potentially need the funds within the next few days to end of week. This does make me sad, as I really don't think this can be done in such a short time. 

Either way, a charity will benefit suprisingly from a kind donation made. Thank you for reading my message today and I wish you happiness and positivity. 

Sophie x
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Sophie Shelton 
Preston VIC
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