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Monday, July 28, 2003

My Grandmother died last week. She was 96 years old. I guess that is not a bad innings, just those few years short of the hundred.

I’d love to say that she was the best grandmother anyone ever had, but the truth is that she wasn’t really. She had a tough life. She married my Grandfather just after WW2 and came from England to Australia, by herself on the month long boat ride. Away from her family and friends, to a strange new country. She was 38 when they married – considered a bit of an old maid.

They settled down, in a working class neighborhood, and had three kids in as many years. Then, when the youngest was three, my grandfather died, from injuries sustained during the war. So there she was, a stranger in a foreign land, with three little boys, and little money. Then she did what she had to do, and went to work. My Dad started school when he was three (there was no childcare in those days!), he used to have a nap in the corner of the classroom.

She worked hard, and raised three boys. I suppose it was the constant strain of day to day life that made her hard. She wasn’t uncaring, but she was blunt. She wasn’t mean, but she was very, well, sensible, and difficult to relate to. I always remember her as being old, , and I guess she was, she would have been in her seventies by the time I can first remember her.

So I feel sad that she has gone, and for what might have been had her life worked out a little differently. But the one thing she taught me was to try and enjoy life, no matter what it throws at you, because I’m not so sure that she did.

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