This is quite possibly the most personal blog post I shall ever write but I feel I must all the same. At 1.45am my mum called me to tell me that my gran had died. She had collapsed at her home in Folkestone, was rushed to the William Harvey in Ashford before being transferred to the Kent & Canterbury for emergency heart surgery. It was in the operating theatre that she passed away.
My gran, a true silver surfer, was a regular reader of my blog. She was very proud of my achievements and had always encouraged me in my ambition to go into politics. After my partner, she was the second person I called when I was selected for Chatham & Aylesford and she cried with joy "I am soooo pleased for you lambie".
Nana had lived by herself for over 40 years and was fiercely independent as a result. Despite having a career in social services looking after the elderly, she herself was not dependent on social care. Her caring streak has passed its way through the family. There are many reasons why I want to be a politician but the absolute ultimate reason is the so called "social work" element of the job. Making a difference to people's lives, whether it is individually or as a community, is what drives me on every day. And that is what my gran did with the elderly people she looked after.
Having spent a long time tonight talking to my sister we have some very fond memories of my gran to keep with us forever. Tomorrow she has the unpleasant task of informing her children about their "nanny". She will tell them that she is a new star in the sky. I don't care how old I am, tonight that is how I shall think of one of my greatest supporters too.