As far as I’m aware, my family have no magical powers. That’s not to do a disservice to my dad who could do a few slight of hand tricks, but when it came to the big stuff; making elephants disappear or levitating, he struggled. Badly. There must have been a few magicians in my hometown though as they managed to make our 1995 Vauxhall Cavalier disappear… and set it on fire… and evade police capture, all in one night.
So no magicians in the family, but ever since I was young and we met up with the rest of the family in Scotland, I’d always leave with a sense of ‘everything’s going to be alright’. When we are all together there is an aurora of invincibility that is around us, and this is when things start reappearing; confidence returns, ambition returns, and new perspectives arrive. It’s like a mental health SuperMarket Sweep dash, you’re running around with only a little bit of time to work with, and you’re grabbing everything. Eyes bulging, except, disappointingly, they’re no bonuses for stacking tins or finding inflatables.
These special guest appearances are welcomed and the disappearances more so, they may even be the other side of the same coin. But problems just start disappearing as well, it is like I’m plucked from the rabbit hole of life, I no longer worry about politics or work, money, my future or anything really. It’s an inverted disappearance because when you have confidence, ambition, drive, and a new perspective, problems don’t disappear as such, but you have the mental tools you need to deal with them. Plus you have the the confidence to know your efforts to solve them will be suffice.
All in all, given a tough emotional day, to end it with a sense of those things is a positive one. The death of my Gran motivates me even more to take opportunities and make the most of everything. So here I am about to leave Scotland with the second best prize*.
The day was tough, and it was a completely new experience. One which I hope I don’t have to relive again for a long time. It was a poignant moment for many reasons but given my Grans lack of mobility, she always liked the whole family to come up to Scotland for special occasions, so they could all be around her – not that she liked us being around her for too long it should be said. Today though, her final day, she brought us all together one last time.
Of the many quotable things my Gran would say, a favourite one would be ‘ah away and gee’us peace’*. Well Gran, you’ve finally got your peace.
*1st prize, for anyone who likes to take their time with a little intellectual leap, would be my Gran still being here.
*Go away give me some peace