For me, Nan was the embodiment of Grace and Elegance. She was always sincere, devoted, patient and above all, kind. Where possible, she lived in peace and harmony with everyone. She had a fabulous sense of humour and regularly sent me anecdotes or jokes that made her giggle. When discussing a passion of hers or belief she felt strongly, she was feisty!
A defining period for her was World War 2. Every memory she shared, good and bad, gave me goosebumps. I cannot imagine being bombed, shipped out to family in the country, rations or knowing friends and loved ones are fighting and dying on a distant shore. I will always see her surviving that time and caring for her brother as one of the bravest things I’ve encountered.
Nan satisfied her wanderlust later in life, enjoying many different sea cruises and exploring new countries with Grandad. In one letter she wrote to me she described being upgraded to a stateroom and overindulging in the French champagne with Grandad who said “stop giggling and go to bed” to which she replied “I’m not giggling, ha, ha, ha”
Grandad and Nana shared a love I envy, they seemed complete with each, totally contained. Their shared passion for ballroom and Latin dancing saw them spend hours, after long days of work, dancing together. Grandad regularly tried to teach me the finer points by leading me across the “floor” a.k.a. the verandah, whilst Nan would issue instruction or encouraging remarks. Never one for the limelight, she would call upon Mum to “show me how to do it” if I went too far wrong.
Nana never wished to inconvenience anyone, she looked to put everyone at ease. Left beside a bowling green, at the golf club or in hotel lobby, within a short period of time, she was friends with a number of the inhabitants. She always had shoulder to cry on and a listening ear. She loved deeply and I was never left in any doubt of how greatly she cared for and about all of the family. For the happiness of one she loved, she was prepared to sacrifice a lot of herself. She epitomised gratitude and always called Mum and I her angels, but she felt like ours.
It was a privilege to know Nan and hold space in her heart. She was loved and will be sorely missed but always with me, to quote EE Cummings, ‘I carry your heart (I carry it in my heart)