Take the time

>>  Wednesday, February 08, 2012

This week's Gallery is 'A Family Story'

I'm re-reading Nella Last's Diaries at the moment.  I love her and her daily descriptions of war and post-war life.  I hear my Grandma's voice as I read.

I see my Grandma in her life.  I feel like I can connect to my Grandma in a way I never took the time to do when she was alive.

I know the war stories through my own mother talking about them.

I know about the bomb falling down the previously unknown well at the bottom of the garden and it saving their lives.

I know about the worst night when My great grandfather and grand father went out hunting for each other in the fear that either house have taken a direct hit and them meeting on the rubble of a neighbour's house.

But I don't know about how she really felt with her brothers away fighting, with her babies still at home, the fear of the planes overhead, the bombing, the rationing, the queueing, the tiredness.

I only know about it from Nella's books and I imagine this too is how Grandma felt.

I did spend a lot of time with her.  Sitting on the kitchen stool whilst she showed me how to sew up a lamb's heart, make rice pudding and cut bread.

Where to keep butter cool but not cold.

How to sew buttons.

Later on she taught me how to manage money, how not to spend more than you earn, how to write down ins and outs and  put a bit aside.  You can have a mortgage and one on the knock.  Never more.  If you can't afford it you don't have it.

But how I wish I could sit down with her now and say 'is this how middle age felt for you too?', 'what happens next?'. 'what should I do?'.  Because her story and her experiences would help me now.

I take time to listen to my own mother, over and over again, and sometimes it seems never ending!!!  But I see my own daughter avoid grandma's stories,  too  busy in learning in her own way to want to hear grandma.  But o'best beloved take time to listen because when you are finally ready to hear it, it may be too late.


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