Postcards for Nana

My Nana was a tough old bird.  Bringing up 6 kids through the depression pretty much on her own was a hard task and there wasn’t much money left over for holidays or gallivanting around the world.  My lifestyle must have seemed so irresponsible to her, all that money spent on travel, but she never let on.

From the time I started travelling on my own in my early 20’s, I made sure I would send Nana a postcard.  Sometimes it was just a few hastily scrawled lines, other times a detailed account of my latest adventure.  I didn’t think anything of it in the beginning, I was sending postcards to a few people – that’s just what you did back then before the internet – but on a visit with her once, she showed me her photo album.  In it were all the postcards she had received from her own children’s travels over the years and freshly pressed at the front were the latest from me.

It made me realise how much it meant to her to receive something in the mail from her grandchild.  I didn’t grow up in the same city she lived in and Mum would often make us write letters to her, but I think receiving something unforced and full of the excitement of being in a foreign place meant something special.

Since then I always made sure that where ever I was, I at least sent one postcard – to Nana.  I like to think she always had a little thrill when collecting her mail to see the latest one in there, even if it was just a few lines.

Nana died peacefully in her sleep this morning, aged 102, so I won’t be able to send her any more postcards, but where ever I go, I’ll remember to write a few lines in my head for her.

My Nana at 100 with her letter from the Queen.


  1. So sorry for your loss, she will leave a big gap in your life. Reaching 102 is so impressive!

    I do the same thing with my 95yo Gran; postcards when I’m travelling, and a weekly(ish) letter when I’m not with news and photos about general life. Receiving these means so much to her so I’m always glad to hear about others who take the time to do this.


  2. How lucky you were to have your lovely grandmother for so long. You will miss her. I only knew one of my grandmothers and she died when I was quite young. I had a neighbour I had known since the age of 5 who inspired my interest in travel and I sent her postcards from all my travels. She died a year ago, but I often think of her when I am in parts of the world I know she loved.


  3. olivia I know how much Sylvia enjoyed your postcards of your travels and I am looking forward to receiving lots of postcards in my dotage!!



  4. Nana was a great-great-grandmother, and always asked after her grandchildren: you, Jason and Tiffany. Thank you for this lovely tribute.


  5. Hi Olivia, Your Dad told me about your blog. Great message to Sylvia, she would love it. I knew her all my life and we shared our birthday. Our family lived in Hastings Parade too. My bothers and sister all grew up with your Dad and his brothers and sister. I came a bit later. Sylvia was a lovely lady, I thought the world of her.Have fun and keep enjoying life.
    Regards from Leonie O’Connell (nee Kavanagh)


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