Today was a special day, not that I realised it until It was time to leave mind you.
In my mind it was another family party which was a yearly tradition until, of course, Covid hit and we couldn’t see each other. Seeing everyone was lovely but to me personally I didn’t really feel emotional or overwhelmed it was just nice to see my family that I hadn’t seen in so long.
After we had exchanged presents, all caught up and had a banging roast dinner (Thankyou Granny!!) it was my queue to leave, I did the usual rounds of saying goodbye to everyone, thanking them and wishing them a happy new year and then it came to saying goodbye to my Grampy- he was in the loft so I popped my head up and said I was going, to which he quickly replied “Ok, wait there I’m coming down.” It’s worth noting that I had climbed the ladder in my heels so the concentration I had was like no other.
This is where it starts to get emotional.
After my gramps had come down from the loft I went in to give him a hug to which he fully embraced, it was a tighter hug than normal and he said to me how he had really missed me and he was so glad that I came. When the hug had ended I looked at him and he had tears in his eyes, welling up. That’s when it really hit me. This family party probably meant more to my grandparents than anyone else in that room today, as he was classed as ECV (Extremely clinically vulnerable) throughout the pandemic he wasn’t allowed to see any of us, even when the restrictions had ended a lot of our family took extra precautions to ensure he was safe. This was the first time in 2 years that his whole family were together, laughing, taking photos and being our usual selfs.
Every time I looked over throughout our party he would be sat there soaking it all up, he didn’t necessarily want to be involved in the conversations but rather listen. As your children leave the nest and raise their own families it’s common that the only time we can really all get together is around this festive time, don’t get me wrong- there is an awful lot of my family (to put in to perspective there were 18 people there today, we had all done LFT’s and were negative and all been double/triple jabbed I’d like to add) which means that you are likely to leave feeling absolutely worn out but oh my gosh is it worth it to see the pure joy on everyones faces.
I am one of the lucky ones though. No matter how badly I think I am doing with my diabetes or the struggles I face in life I know that my family are so proud of me.
My Gramps is one of those people.
He’s always thought that it was amazing how I just took my diagnosis in my stride, and that’s sometimes the perspective I need. He has type 2 diabetes so we have always had a running joke of comparing each others sugar levels, I’d like to say I usually win but that would be a big lie – the odd occasion where I do beat him though you better believe that he does not hear the end of it.
Don’t get me wrong, I have kept in contact with my grandparents and family but FaceTime isn’t quite the same. And to be quite honest it wasn’t until today that I truly realised the impact this lockdown has actually had on everyone- we can all fake a smile and a laugh on video calls but to see those you love welling up because they haven’t seen you in so long really does tug on my ice cold heart strings.
I know that Covid isn’t going to go away any time soon but for me personally I am going to ensure that I am doing everything I physically can to ensure that that we haven’t got to spend another two years away from our loved ones.
Please remember if you ever feel alone there are so many support services out there for you. Some of which are as follows:
Student Space : https://studentspace.org.uk/support-services
Lets Talk: https://talk2gether.nhs.uk