Monday, 21 April 2014

Thinking about Nana

The twenty first of April is a date I am very fond of. It was my maternal grandmother's birthday, my Nana. She was born in the 1880s and lived through troubled times. There were no washing machines, indoor bathrooms, indeed none of the modern conveniences that we all tend to take for granted. My mum was the youngest and she had only memories of an idyllic childhood, surrounded by love and kindness.  I can still remember the way she looked at me with love, She is the only one of my grandparents that I can remember, she lived till I was eight years old. She had ten grandchildren and we all remember her like that, loving and sweet and kind. Now I am a grandmother myself and when I feel my grand children's little hands searching for mine, their little heads leaning forward to rest on mine, their cuddly softness I feel my Nana's love for me, she must have felt like this, she gave me the same love that I am giving them. Lots of people say it is great to be a grandparent because you can give them back at the end of the day. Well actually I really enjoyed my children, so I can't say that. What I feel is that it is a grandparent's job to give love,. To come from a loving home is one of life's great joys.
Not everyone is lucky, I have got a friend who is now an elderly man ,he is tough and strong  but,he still cries when he talks about how his father whipped him with his leather belt . and how his mother was treated so badly..
Countries are made up of families of some form or another, countries make up the world. They seem to need the same things to be happy, families and countries. The adults need to have something to do, some job, enough food to put on the table ,the old people need to be able to spend their days with dignity and feeling cared for, the little ones need to be shown how to behave When things go wrong, dialogue is needed, someone needs to listen and see what can be done peacefully to put things right.
In a family these things need to be done with love. In a country also, love for the common good, and love for the whole world. We are all in it together. Governments and politicians need to find out what will make their countries happy, listen to the people, the same way a family must listen to each other. Like my Nana, reasonable and kind not like my friend's dad , with his leather belt.
Here is a poem by William Cowper 81731-1800) which tells us that most of our happiness comes from a happy home ,or country.

Domestic happiness, thou only bliss
Of Paradise, that hast survived the fall1
Thou art the nurse of Virtue, in thine arms
She smiles, appearing, as in truth she is,
Heaven born, and destined to the skies again,
Thou art not known where pleasure is adored,
For thou art meek and constant, hating change,
And finding in the calm of truth-tried love
Joys that her stormy raptures never yield.

Here is the link to a song that my niece chose for her wedding. It reminds us that we all need to stick together, hold hands around the world.


  1. So happy you have such good memories Angela. Grandparents are special and have a massive affect upon us all. Yours would be thrilled to know how loved she was and is. Happy birthday to your Nana. xx

    1. Thank you so much Jane1 My cousin who is 77 told me recently that my Nana took him up in an aeroplane for his 11th birthday, when he told his friends at school what he had done at the weekend no-one believed him! Precious memories x