Hey Nan, it’s Me.

I have been down the path, where I feel you shouldn’t go. When a loved one, like your grandmother, begins to get dementia. But instead of making yourself available to not miss the moments, you run. You run because you do not know how to approach a loved one not remembering who you are. You are unsure if the call you make or the hug you give will be one they are recognising. And you forget that you should DO it anyway. You assume they wont. I barely understand it all and its new to me. So many reasons, none of them are needed. 

“Hey Nan, it’s Me!”

“Oh love, hello! Are you still in Melbourne?”

Smiling. “Yeah, I am Nan, still down here. Warm day today!”

“Yeah, you with your brother?”


“Oh I mean, your uncle, have you seen him?”

“Not as much as we should Nan! Has he come to visit?”

“Yeah, he was here for Christmas!”

“Yeah, when I was! Was a lovely day. Sorry I wasn’t there longer”

“That’s OK love. Understand you have your life to get on with too.”

“But that life has you in it, Nan!”

“Yes I know, but everyone has to move and grow up. Some days it is tough, but I love you all”


“I want to come up there again soon. Can I stay there in April?”

“Love, of course, you can! Plenty of room.”

“Great, you will see me in April then!”

“Oh, this has made my day!”

She shouts out to my cousin down the hall, “Yes, he called me! I was only thinking of him this morning!”

Smiling, and getting a few tears. Why did I hold off on this? 

“You there? Love, OK I have to go, but thank you for calling”

“I love you, Nan, look forward to seeing you soon!”

“I love you very much! Hooray!”

We must all call more. 


I originally wrote this a few months back, but that feeling of “how do I sum this up right now” did not go away, so I left it. Here we go again (Written on October 3rd 2013):

Why am I called Edwin?

My grandfather, or as I grew up calling him, “Pop”, was called Edwin. Eddie or Ed for short. So I was given the name as my middle name when I came into the world. And until two days ago, he was always present in my life in one way or the other. A rock to his family, always the cheeky and happy man.

At 5:45am on 1st October 2013, my grandfather left this world. I had four missed calls from my mum, when I woke at 7am. And I knew. It was expected but you never really can expect it.

He always wore a brass bracelet on his left wrist, to fight off athritus. He used to do silly little dances when he was happy and whistle a lot. He was a brilliant and talented carpenter. Three quarters of my family home he had either built or at least approved of. His phrases included “One up, all up” and “Strewth” to mention two out of many. His family came first, and if you were to learn patience of anyone, it would be him. He was a skilled builder, he started out learning to build boats on Cockatoo Island, in Sydney Harbour. He raised a family with his lovely wife Edith (I kinda think it is amazing that they were called Ed and Edie) of six children in South Sydney, and was a familiar face wherever he want. Everyone loved him.

When I began writing, and simply sharing thoughts, I began with the name “Southern Bloke” but then several years ago, changed to the name “Edwin Jones”. I told Pop about this, and he beamed. Well, I could tell he was beaming through the letter he wrote. I was inspired to write to him a few years ago, as I had never done that with him. Little did he know how much he loved it, and I eventually got a letter in return (originally was sent to the wrong address and it also took him quite a while to write it due to his lack of strength sometimes). His beautiful handwriting and his way with words shone through, and it will always be one of the most treasured letters I will ever receive in my life. He talked about the everyday things, just like I did. But that wasn’t the point, so much meaning between the lines. He was very keen to read my writing, it was just a small added extra smile that I was using his name. The fact he knew that and loved knowing what I was up to, meant a lot. Means a lot.

When I was growing up, the name “Edwin” was kinda dorky as my peers had never heard that name. You grow into your name though. And wish I smiled more when I let people know what my middle name was as a kid. I got to carry the name of Ed.

Edwin Ring