Thirty minutes


A friend of mine posted something very thought provoking on Facebook today. The picture was of a beautiful view out to sea, from up on a cliff. A simple park bench sat there and the caption read ‘If you could sit on this bench and chat for an hour, with someone from the past, who would it be?’ Seeing it made my mind race. An hour seemed greedy somehow, so I decided that if I had only 30 minutes, who would it be, for me?

I wanted to be clever, deep, and say Albert Einstein or Ernest Hemmingway, but instead one name obliterated all the others. Gran Isa.

In my mind I put myself on that bench, with Gran next to me. She’d have her handbag with her (never went anywhere without it) inside of it, a small paper bag of mint imperials. Her long hair wound in the trademark bun, her glasses glinting in the sunlight, she’d smell of vanilla and be smiling into the breeze.

I’d have so many questions for her. How are you? Do you know how much you are missed? Are you really there when I sense your presence? Do you hear me when I speak to you? How did you know I’d find my soul mate, eventually? Are you with papa?

As I ran through all of these things I imagined asking her, they suddenly all fell away and I realized that I would just want to hear her voice again, to feel her presence and the warmth of her unconditional love. If I had those thirty minutes, the one question I would still ask her would be –  can you stay any longer?

10 thoughts on “Thirty minutes

  1. Oh Ali, so many memories in this short piece, and so evocative of times spent
    with Gran. Do you remember teasing her? She was gullible in may ways and
    so easy to send up and then she’d laugh and say “Ohh Ali.” or “Ohh Bill. I remember dad introducing her to Bailleys and her saying how good it was and taking a second one, and he called her alcoholic Isa. She laughed for ages.
    Another lovely story.. X

  2. What a heart touching, beautifully written story. Alison. I can see how much your Gran’s love shaped you to be such a wonderful person we all know, and who now shares that love with others. xx

  3. Lovely. So real. So true. Beautifully said. Did you see my response to the question posed on Facebook. No surprises…….I said Gran Isa.

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