Tuesday, 7 January 2014

Grandma M: 1921 - 2014

Boxing Day 2013, two weeks before she died
I always thought of Grandma M as my practical grandmother. She was amazing at needlework in her day and leaves behind some impressive embroidery. I once gave her a button to repair and the first thing she did was cut every other button off the shirt. Why are you doing that I asked? "If one is falling off the others will be about to go" came the reply. Not the logic of the idle.

Growing up during times of rationing had a big impact on Grandma and she never lost the habits of resourcefulness and minimising waste. She used to butter bread before slicing it as that way you could cut it thinner.

Widowed at a young age she was a strong and independent women and I only ever knew her living on her own. She liked her routines and they filled her time in retirement. Every day started with dusting (you've never seen anywhere so well dusted) and sheets were changed each Saturday.

The Office for National Statistics could track inflation from her diaries and accounts books. She used to add up till receipts in her head to make sure they hadn't made a mistake.

She loved a letter and my sister and I used to have an annual competition to see who could send her the most postcards. She used to keep them in a tray next to her arm chair and we'd have a count each Christmas to see who had won. It was rarely me.

The death of my aunt, Grandma's youngest daughter, thirteen years ago broke her. She withdrew from the world and barely left the house in her final years, the thought of telling people one of her daughters had died if they asked "how the girls were" was all too much.

One of the reasons I returned from Australia was so that I could spend more time with Grandma after missing out on the last couple of years with my other grandparents. It was lovely to be able to visit her, although I didn't go as often as I should have.

She lived in her own home, with increasing amounts of help from my mum, right up to the last twenty four hours. Quite amazing really.

She passed away yesterday in the University Hospital of Wales and it was a privilege to be at her side.

Grandma you will be missed.



  1. my condolences to you and your family richard. your grandmother sounded like she was an amazing person and im glad you got to spend more time with her

  2. Richard, a beautiful post for your Grandma. She sounds like a pretty amazing woman.
    I'm going to ring both of my grandmothers today...thank you. xx

  3. Thanks Suze and Brydie for your kind comments

  4. Richard only just seen this. Really sorry to hear of your loss. Hope you are supporting and being supported by the rest of the family.

  5. Sorry to hear of your loss Richard, she sounds like an incredible woman. I really miss my grandma now that she lives in another state. Reminds me I should visit her more often.