I went to my Grandma’s funeral today, so this post is about her.
She was born in 1924 in Scotland, for reasons that have never been talked about in our family she ended up being brought up by her Mother’s parents. We don’t know what happened to her Mother, but we know that her Father lived a long life and travelled around a lot. She had little to no contact with him.
She was brought up by her strict, Scottish grandparents and spent time working as a short-hand typist and auxiliary nurse. During the war she met a soldier called Alfred from the East End of London who was based near her home. They saw each other for a while and eventually she became pregnant. She was seventeen.
They got married and she moved from beautiful Dumfries to blitz torn London. She had to get used to outside toilets and overcrowding as well as bombs. After she got married she had almost no contact with her grandparents. Eventually my Uncle was born, as he got older it became more and more obvious that he was autistic.
The war ended, life moved on and she had another child; my Auntie. At some point they moved out of London and had my Dad in the late fifties. They then settled in my home town. When my Dad was ten my Grandad, Alf, died of a heart attack. My Grandma had just had another baby, my second Uncle.
For years she brought up her children alone, my oldest Uncle staying by her side, my Auntie going off on adventures across the world and my Dad and second Uncle growing up and focussing on their educations.
Eventually my Auntie got married and moved abroad, she had two daughters. My second Uncle also got married and had children, then my oldest Uncle got married, and finally it was my Dad’s turn.
By this point my Grandma was sharing the family home with a friend, Jim, who filled the role of ‘Grandad’ for us children. Jim died when I was about six, followed by my oldest Uncle when I was eleven, and his wife just last year.
My Grandma lived to the age of ninety with near perfect health. She had a stroke earlier this year and deteriorated rapidly. She died peacefully and quietly with my Dad by her side.
She was a tough woman who enjoyed life, she had her faults- as all of us do- but overall she was a true matriarch and our family feels disjointed without her at the helm. We will miss her, but we will recover and grow in her absence.