Wednesday, 27 August 2014

My nan Doris

As I mentioned in my last post, my nan died at the end of July, while I was visiting my parents in Devon. Although it was very sad, and the same time it was a bit of a relief. I imagine there are many people out there caring for elderly family members, and it does become a strain. My dad was the only one living near my nan for the last few years, and even though she has been living in a residential care home for quite a while, it is still a tie and a stress for him to cope with on his own. 

My nan had reached the ripe old age of 101 ( and a half!). This is some accomplishment when you think of what she has lived through! She was born in 1913, lived through two world wars, Spanish flu (I think that's right), and all the other major events of the past century! Last year in February when she turned 100, she received a telegram and card from the queen. I think she was secretly quite chuffed about it! 

Nan was about 9 or 10 in this picture. 

I managed to get one visit to my nan this summer before she passed away. It was brief, and she was not well, but she managed to see William (who was her favourite great grandchild). It was upsetting to see her looking so frail, and we were not at all surprised to hear the news a few days later. I had been writing her emails from Dubai, which my dad printed off to give to her. So she knew what we were up to and that William was having such a great time. She was constantly asking when we were going back to visit. So I'm glad we made it in time!

My nan has always seemed 'old' to me. I suppose she would have been about 73 years old when I was born. So when we went back for the funeral and we got reminiscing about her and my grandad and their lives together when they were first married, it was nice to hear the stories. I don't remember much about my grandad, Pop, as I was about 8 years old when he died. It's scary to think my nan lived another 20 years without her husband. I cannot imagine it. 

The old photos my dad had were amazing! Nan and pop dancing at parties in war time, the fashions, similarities of my dad and Aunty. Dad told us stories about pops experiences during the war; he was a mechanic. We heard how he had to sacrifice all his treasured personal tools and drive his truck off a cliff in order to escape the Germans and not leave them resources behind. It all sounded like something out of a movie. 

During the war, my grandad used to write poems which he hid inside an instruction manual for a tank. Reading them back was funny as some of the poems are very romantic and gushy. Just reading his own hand writing and thinking about where he may have been when he was writing them gives me chills. It was sweet seeing post card pictures of him with the note for nan, "yours as ever". 

As sad as it is to loose someone, it brings a smile to my face thinking that she had such a long life. 4 children, 10 grand children and 10 great grand children! I only have one child, so I can't imagine I am going to get 10 grand children! But I will take away the thought that it is important to make the most of your life, do all you can while you are able to and make sure people know you care about them! 


  1. Your Nan obviously had a wonderfully full and interesting life, it is sad that she had to live so long without her husband being alive too, but good that they had such a great marriage. This is a wonderful tribute to her. xx

  2. That is a lovely tribute to your Nan. She had a very long and interesting life, loving and being loved.

  3. A lovely tribute to your Nan, what a long and very full life she led, it's lovely that you were able to visit her with little William before she passed away. :) xx


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