Since my Granny passed away just over a week ago, I’ve been feeling very reflective. It was so hard and so very sad to say good-bye to her, no matter that she was 98 and “had a good innings” as some people pointed out, it was still so very hard to say good-bye. We will all miss her terribly, even though in our heart of hearts we know she is where she wants to be. Selfishly we of course wish she was still here with us – telling us how “I don’t want to be a bother” and in fact, being anything but.
How lucky am I though to have had such an amazing and inspirational woman in my life. My Granny, in her 98 years, lived through the Easter Rising and Irish War of Independence; left Ireland as a young girl to come to live in England; got married and had three children, who she supported pretty much solo when my Grandfather went off to war; she lived through WW2 – keeping her children safe by dragging them down to the air-raid shelter, my uncle a baby at the time being carried in an orange box! When my Grandfather left the family, she held down a variety of jobs simultaneously to support herself and her three children; she didn’t retire until she was well into her 70s I think it was; lived independently until only a few years ago; and was the most kind-hearted, sweet person you could ever meet. I don’t think she had a bad bone in her body, she was one of a kind.
How lucky am I that Granny was the strong, fiercely independent, determined woman she was, that she kept going no matter what life threw at her and that she raised another strong, independent, determined woman in my mother. Two incredible role models for me, for whom I can never be too thankful.
Two role models from whom I have learnt so much and while I have my wobbly moments, moments when I wish I could just crawl under the duvet and hide and ignore all the things that are troubling me or bothering me, I know that for all those moments, when it comes to the crunch and I need to, the strong, independent, determined side of me rises to the surface. I am those things because of the people, the women, who have taught me by example, how to be those things.
Now I have two daughters of my own, they are aged 3 and 1 years old. Frighteningly, at such a tender age, they seem to need little instruction on how to be strong and independent and determined. They seem to have been naturally born with a feistiness and strong-wills that at times scare even me! But they are vulnerable too and they are in need of love and guidance and comfort and of nurture of course and I feel so privileged to be the person who can give those things to them and who can help them become the women they are destined to be.
I hope I can be a good role model to my little ladies. I may not get this parenting thing right all the time – in fact, I’m fairly sure I screw it up on a daily basis – but all that I’ve learnt from my Granny and my Mum, which has helped shape me into the person I am today, is all that I plan to show and to share with my two girls, to help shape them into who they are, and that reassures me that hopefully I won’t do too bad a job in raising them right.
How lucky am I to have been able to share a moment with 4-generations in my family. How very very lucky (even if Allegra did sleep through the occasion!).