Story of Eights
8 Holland Place. My first experience of home is where the heart is. I lived here with my Mom and Gran and it was a place full of love, loudness and bursting with positive energy.
My Gran was one of the most special people to me, a larger than life character. Granny Palmer to many who weren’t even her grand kids. Never mind related. She was a midwife, a nursing sister who spent her entire life giving.
At her funeral I ended my “ode to her” by saying “She always had because she always gave” Her funeral was packed to the rafters. The best compliment I have ever received I got a few months ago when someone said to me “Jacs, your funeral is going to be so so huge” You see her and I, we love people. Adore them. Love to find out about them and tell our stories to them.
I spent most of my childhood asking her “Gran who was that?” as some stranger greeted her warmly and chatted for half an hour in the shops. She would either answer with a long story about how she delivered their baby or they were the baby or she would laugh and say “Not a cooking clue”
She had the largest brown suitcase full of meds and she would gladly administer anything to anyone who had a slight cough. People from around our neighborhood would phone at any hour of night to ask “Granny Palmer what can I do?” Gran ALWAYS had the answer.
Grans sense of humor is one of the most valuable inheritances that were passed on to me. I remember I used to stare at her old imbuia ball and claw cabinet full to brim with owl ornaments and pick out my favourite, a little crystal one. I would say “Gran when you die I want this”.
You see in our family death was joked about, spoken about and was nothing to fear. She would laugh and say “Just take it now and be done with it” I never did. I think I thought that while the owl remained in the cabinet, Gran remained with me.
One of the reasons death was nothing to fear was because she taught us to live life to the full. To give, give and when you think you can’t give anymore, there’s always more that came from somewhere.
My Gran was all about excess. She would use an entire sheet of wrapping paper to wrap the smallest of gifts. Much like her nature, she held nothing back.
Granny Palmer LOVED animals. In the “old days” you were only allowed two dogs. Gran used to hide them all in the bathroom or the cupboard when people came around to check for licenses. Our house was like Mitchell Park.
We had a Dalmatian called Lady who once ran into the house after my Aunt had arrived home from work and as everyone who knows animals knows that Dalmatians tails DO NOT stop wagging excessively. Lady was spraying blood all over me, all over the house, the other dogs running around like mad. Blood squirting on the ceiling and all over every. Single. Surface. Everyone was screaming they thought she had hurt herself so so badly. When we could catch her and calm her down they figured out that she had caught her poor tip of her tail in the garage door. A bloodbath, but a good story.
People that know me, know I love telling a good story. I’m full of them. This is where it started. Gran and her stories at 8 Holland Place.
When I moved to England my Gran could not say goodbye. She sat in her comfy chair, didn’t look back and said “Bye Jacs, see you soon” Later in life I learnt that she had preparing all of us for her death and to make it easier on us by doing these little things. By never making anything negative seem like a “big thing”
Gran never gave a damn what other people thought of her. This is another family heirloom I can say got passed down to me. Thanks Gran! I’m me. All the loving, say-it-like-it-is, larger than life me.
I also inherited a “lucky streak” – even though I don’t believe in Luck, I believe in Gods favour and blessings.
I win just about everything I enter and usually I will choose the number 8 if it’s available. You see this was my Grans number. This number has been super special to me throughout my life. It represents love, unity, family, good memories and generosity. The values I hold dear and want to pass on through my gifts and my own little family.
When Matt proposed to me I didn’t cry. I was so so happy. When he told me the meaning behind the ring he designed for me I was a mess. I broke down into tears. You see we were born on the same day. 21 August. The 21st of the 8th month. He designed my ring to have four arms to make the circles around my wedding ring finger. Three of the four arms had seven diamonds on each (added together 3 multiples of 7 make 21) and the last one, bottom right, had eight. Representing my Gran and my love for her. The one closest to my heart.
The flower in my logo came about almost by mistake. Andrea the designer (from Bird & Design and I had been going from concept to concept and nothing seemed to fit. I had mentioned to Ands in our brainstorming stage that the number 8 was always special to me but that I didn’t need it to be a part of the design, but was telling her “just incase”
When Gran died I got to say goodbye. I leaned in and whispered to her “Bye Gran see you soon”
Andrea sent me an icon. It was her idea to overlay the two 8’s into a flower. The minute I saw it, I burst out crying, knowing this was it. This was the missing piece to the puzzle. I AM that icon, it means everything to me. It means love, generosity, kindness and most of all it stands for just being me and saying what I need to say and standing up for what I believe in. Being proud of who I am of who I have become. It stands for all the values I have had instilled in me by my family and by a woman who was larger than life itself. It stands for every woman who is on the journey to finding out who she is, to the ones that know who they are and the ones who have gone before. For strength, beauty and being comfy in your own skin. X