It's my gorgeous daughter's seventeenth birthday this week and although the thought of her driving is a little nerve-wracking, I'm sure she'll love the freedom of not having to wait for buses or for me to take her where she needs to go. She is funny, a little ditsy (like her mother), and truly fabulous. She is special in her own right, but having suffered three miscarriages after my son was born, I didn't expect to ever have her. Happy Birthday to Sx
The day after S's birthday would have been my paternal grandmother's birthday (she's on the left of the picture). She was born in Meerut in India in 1906. Her father was in the 17th Lancers and after he retired they made their home in Cardiff. He died young in 1922 and my grandmother came to live over here after meeting my grandfather while on holiday. She was very beautiful and on the day she died, my sister-in-law gave birth and my youngest sister celebrated her seventeenth birthday. I was holding a party for my sister at my house too. A day of very mixed emotions.
My maternal grandmother was born in 1915 in Kinsale, Ireland and went to live in London when she married. Thanks to the war and constant moving around, her three daughters were born in different counties. In 1950, my grandmother came to live in Jersey with her second husband and it was here that my uncle was born. My son had a special bond with her as, although she was in her eighties when he was born, she looked after him for me many times while I worked. She died seven years ago on 9th of this month.
One grandmother was evacuated from Jersey (apparently on the last boat) with her two small sons and a nephew. She spent the war years in England, living in various places. The other lived in London and worked in a shop during the day and helped fire-watching on the roof of the shop at night. Both were seperated from their children on occasions, either because they'd been evacuated to the homes of strangers, or because they'd been sent to live with relatives. Both had husbands fighting for their country, one in the navy and one in the army. Both experienced the Blitz.
Both women were incredibly strong, supportive and dignified, but most of all I remember their sense of humour. I still miss them both very much, but have so many happy memories of times spent laughing with them that it never saddens me to think of them. I was so lucky to have had them in my life.