Mar 7, 2011

Some thoughts about my Grandmother...

Next month it will be six years since my Grandmother passed away. It isn't so raw now and I can talk about her without getting choked up. My mother had to work, because with three kids, her and my father wouldn't have been able to afford to keep us and give us a good education. Luckily my Nan had us in the holidays and most of the time after school, and because of this I had a lovely relationship with her. As I have mentioned before on my blog, she taught me to knit and crochet and developed my love of craft. When she passed away, I was asked to give a Eulogy, and I came across it the other day when I was looking for some other documents. I thought I would post it here. It is interesting to see the developments I made in maturity. That was just before I was forty and I was only starting to be clear in my thoughts. Now I am very contented with my view of the world and my place in it. I hope you enjoy it.

I have spent the better part of fifteen years studying philosophy, religion and science looking for answers to the big questions. However, it was only this year that I realised I had been going about it all wrong. I had been reading a viewpoint only to reject it - so I knew what I didn't believe. But I realised that I hadn't a notion of what it is that I did believe. Of course the answer was simple - what I believed were the things which were "truth" for me - which I had synthesised into my life and which worked for me. Not surprisingly, many of these insights came from my family and (because of the time I spent with her) - from my Nan.
So here are a few of the things I do believe which my Nan taught me…

I believe in hard work. Nan was always a hard worker no matter whether it was for love or money. I never heard Nan say "that will do" as some are often heard to mutter when completing some menial task for work. Nan wouldn't work to a standard set by her boss or for any external reward. Nan taught me to work for the intrinsic reward - work until you are satisfied that you have done a good job - a good message to send to a child.

I believe in reading. The love of reading is a great gift to give a child. Nan would buy us comic books full of fun stories and high interest articles. Nan bought me my first Dolly magazine - a magazine my daughter now reads because of their dedication to young people. Nan provided us with library membership - which opened up a whole world to us. I still remember the feeling of getting a new book which no one had "stamped out" yet. I have moved to many towns and have more library cards than any other souvenir of my life there. We are a family of voracious readers. What a legacy!

I believe in good food. My Nan was the best cook in the world. Is there anyone who could doubt that statement? Nan taught us all how good food can warm the soul. This is something that she has passed to us all - that love was the secret ingredient. When I taste my daughter's pikelets, my aunt's trifle or the way my mum makes sandwiches, there is a little element of Nan in there, that they have made their own.

I believe in family. Nan taught me that family is important. That is a lesson that stays with a child forever. I spent so much time trying to "be" something, until I learned that being a mother WAS being someone. Nan was always so proud to speak of her family, her children, grandchildren, great grandchildren. She was one of the best teachers I had.

Finally, I believe in laughter. All of us have a memory of laughing with Nan. She taught us the old adage - that laughter is the best medicine. In the face of adversity, embarrassment or just uncomfortable situations, Nan's ability to laugh at herself kept us all in good spirits.

I last saw Nan on Easter Sunday When we walked in she was reading a book. She chatted with us, had a laugh and a joke and we had our picture taken with her. Then with hugs and kisses all round - she went off for her evening meal. Nourishment for the mind, body and soul. That's what Nan taught us.

Nan taught me to laugh... 

1 comment:

  1. That's deep, Kat.

    I don't think I have any living grandparents now.

    From two, my paternal ones, whom I used to receive birthday cards from, stopped writing me when I was in my 30s, and have never responded to attempts to contact them, so I'm left to assume the worst.

    My maternal grandparents died within a few years of each other, but the last, my grandma lived in relative comfort after moving in with one of my wonderful uncles from where she was living.

    I learned a lot from both of them, and it was partly my grandpop's fossil collection that got me interested in science as a kid...

    ...After all, prehistoric thingies are cool.

    I may do a post on what they taught me sometime.

    You always come up with such good ideas for posts... ;)



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