Tuesday, 20 August 2013

Sad Irony

Miss M lost her great-grandfather yesterday. Her father's grandfather passed away, a mere year after he lost his wife, the long-standing love of his life.

I hadn't seen them in years. I met them in my teens, when I dated their grandson. They were spritely then, still enjoying international travel, with a wide and varied social circle. They welcomed me into their family, and I developed a great fondness for them.

Miss M was their first great-grandchild, and although I didn't see them very often, they sent many letters, cards and gifts for her throughout her childhood. I'm sorry that she didn't get to see them more often – they were a wise and compassionate couple and I enjoyed their guidance.

Our last visit to them was seven years ago, when the children were independent enough to get to know them without my encouragement. It was a beautiful visit, and I enjoyed seeing their hometown, and hearing stories of how they established themselves as a young family and built a life together. They were getting older by now, and their travelling time had come to an end.

 The Notebook - the-notebook Screencap

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They survived some tragedy in their final years. It wasn't a fair end to a family who had worked so hard, and maintained such dignity throughout their years.

The sad irony to their story is that yesterday was also the anniversary of my grandmother's birth and death, also Miss M's great-grandmother. Miss M was still a toddler when my Grandma passed away, and wouldn't remember my Grandma in intensive care, removing her oxygen mask to play peek-a-book with her only great-grandchild, and getting mad at the nurses who chastised her.

I wouldn't realise until too late that I had such an ally in my Grandma. I still draw much strength from her, long after her passing.

Neither of these events bring me cause for sadness.  I see Mac and Ella as a young couple again, in love and enjoying their spiritual time together, unencumbered by the burdens of a needy family and life.  I see my Grandma as a wise old soul, drinking endless cups of tea and watching over us all still.

The further I move through adulthood, the more I appreciate the wisdom, patience and guidance that the generations before us held. Such a shame that I didn't appreciate and absorb it before now.  At least I got there in the end.


  1. Lovely post. I agree the older you get the more you appreciate the wisdom of the generations before us. Money Mummy

  2. Thank you Shelley. As the expression goes, you can't put an old head on young shoulders. :-) I just wish I had learned some patience a lot sooner.