Dancing in the streets…
This morning I woke up crying. I could probably count on one hand the number of times that has happened, I;m more of a conscious cryer, something moves me, upsets me and the tears come, quite easily as it happens, but that’s fine 🙂
This morning I woke with a wet face, silent tears, and it took me a few moments to work out why, and then the answer surprised me, but perhaps it should not have. I knew I was crying for Granny; my Granny died nearly 23 years ago, when I was at university. It will be her birthday tomorrow, March 5th – 98 I think. I hadn’t consciously been thinking of that, but its funny what your subconscious does, especially when you’re sleeping.
Granny was an amazing woman, by all accounts a striking and forceful young woman, artistically and dramatically gifted she contracted polio when she was pregnant with my mother in 1941. Mum was fine, Granny spent the next 47 years in a wheelchair. Unable to act, she put her energies into producing and directing and clearly made a huge mark on the lives of very many people, and especially young people. She and Grandpa were involved together in both theatre and church and I know when staying with them as a child I eagerly anticipated visits from old friends who would spend the afternoon relaying stories about how fantastic Winnie & Robert had been, and it seemed there were always visitors like that with stories to tell.
She had a sense of style that was all her own too. Sitting down all her life meant she concentrated on her top half, fuchsia lipstick and, jackets, scarves and hats were her trademarks! I know if she’d been able to wear them, that shoes would have been her addiction just as they are for my mum & me! Shopping trips with GRanny were fantastic, rare because of the mobility issues, and the fact they lived 18 miles from a town, but a proper treat. She knew everyone and they knew her, they knew what she wanted to look at, and so did she!!
Rugby was her other passion, she was brought up in Hawick, rugby is like breathing there. I’ve inherited that too, and her passionate support for the boys in blue! I don’t think it was just the streets of Hawick** where the dancing was in in 1990 when Scotland pulled off the Grand Slam in that final glorious match against the Auld Enemy!! I hope she & her old mate **Bill get to chat about the rugby still.
Granny died suddenly on June 9th 1988, the end of my third year at Cambridge. There is so much about which I am sad. She never saw me act, or graduate, marry, become a mother, she never met my children or my husband, and somehow now almost more than any of that she never knew about my vocation ( or maybe she did…;) ) and she won’t see me ordained.
She would have been so supportive I know, she wasn’t ,I think, of a mind that women should be quiet, she encouraged giftings and vocations of all kinds where she saw them; another lovely influential Winifred in my life was in her time hugely encouraged and supported in her ministry by Granny.
I don’t know why today I woke with her in mind, more than any other anniversary, maybe it was simply so I could send my mum some flowers,
perhaps it was just so I could write this, or to reflect how loss and grief can hit us when we least expect it, and when we think we ” ought” to be past it.
Tomorrow I’ll add a picture – the one I want to scan is upstairs right now.
For now, RIP Granny, and Happy Birthday 🙂