Saturday 12 November 2011

Past & Present

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.


Pat Posner said...

Lovely photo, Debs, and what a great glimpse into your relations' lives.

There really is a story to tell; hope you're thinking of writing it!


Faye said...

How fortunate you are to have had such strong women in your life, Debs. I miss that in my own life except for one aunt who I'm looking forward to seeing next week.

And Happy Birthday to the NEW Driver. A mixed blessing, I'm sure! Stock up on caffeine for those nights when you'll be waiting up! :-)

Chris Stovell said...

What a wonderful post, Debs - thanks for sharing the story of the remarkable women in your life. Happy birthday to your daughter... and good luck with the driving lessons!

Jenny Beattie said...

People's personal histories have become so fascinating to me (is it because I'm getting older?) and it's great to have a picture with it. Thanks for posting.

Carol said...

lovely photo and such a lovely post.

I do love to hear about our social history from people who lived it.
There must be a novel in there, Debs.

My daughter is also 17 and learning to drive. I get nervous when she returns and parks up behind my car!


Deborah Carr (Debs) said...

Pat - thank you. I've written one book incorporating bits of one of my grandmother's life and need to refine it at some point.

Faye - I hope you have a lovely time with your aunt.

I know, I'm a little nervous.

Chris - thanks so much.

Jenny - thanks, I like reading about people's lives too.

Dizzy C - thank you, I'm sure there is.

Poor us, we have a lot of worry ahead of us with our learner drivers. x

B.E. Sanderson said...

Happy Birthday to your Daughter. =o)

Kaye Manro said...

Wow Deb. This is a beautiful post. I dearly love the story and the photo too. I was pulled in to the story of you family quickly.

Happy Birthday to your daughter too!

Great blog post.

D.J. Kirkby said...

Wow, this was such a nice post to read. Thanks for sharing. xo

Deborah Carr (Debs) said...

B.e - thanks very much.

Kaye - thank you, I'm glad you liked it.

Dj - thank you. x

Rosemary Gemmell said...

What a lovely family post, Debs, and I hope your daughter has a great birthday!

Anna Scott Graham said...

Fantastic photo, a lovely post and happy birthday to your girl! They grow so quickly; but one day she'll be bragging on her mum and all the amazing feats of your life... :)))

Flowerpot said...

I think that;s just the right attitude to have in life Debs - well done you!

Anonymous said...

Hi Debs,

I was awarded a blog award recently and have been asked to pass onto five other bloggers I enjoy to follow. So I have picked you as one of my favourite. I love to read about your journey. And, of course, there's Grumpy! To accept and read about the award, click here

Oh, and I hope your daughter had a nice birthday.

Talli Roland said...

How fascinating, Debs. I love learning about people's family histories.

Happy birthday to S!

Deborah Carr (Debs) said...

Rosemary, anna, flowerpot, lucie and talli - I've just realized that Blogger ate my replies to you. Sorry about that and thanks for your lovely comments. S had a wonderful birthday. We're still working our way through an enormous chocolate cake! x

Jean Bull said...

Hi Debs,
What an interesting story or series of stories! I wish that my family history was half as exciting! All I can say is that my dad fought in France in 1918, and came back, or I wouldn't be here! He was in the Home Guard in the
Second World War and in a photo, he looks rather like Sergeant Wilson, aptly from Dad's Army!
Best Wishes,

Deborah Carr (Debs) said...

jean - thank you. I've been researching my great-grandfather who fought in WW1, but mainly want to find a picture of him. No luck, unfortunately.

I love the idea that your dad looks Sergeant Wilson.

Liane Spicer said...

Gorgeous photo, Debs. So much history, so many rich memories! Really love this post.

My current WIP is actually inspired by an essay I wrote on my maternal great-grandmother. We have to keep the memories alive, preserve their times and their lives out of which we came.

Deborah Carr (Debs) said...

Liane - thank you. I love reading about people's lives, there always seem to be so much more to people than you might have at first realised.