Friday, 27 September 2013

Mrs Teacup and Memories of Granny

Ashes to ashes, dust to dust and a cuppa tea. As we think about that it doesn't always go together, can be uncomfortable but you know a good cuppa can sometimes helps. It's a bit of juxtaposition isn't it? But for me and my dear old Granny tea was always a priority and there always had to be cake, preferably her all-time favourite, M&S Apricot Swiss Roll. Afternoon tea was not the same without cake. sadly, just this week I lost my dear and very old Granny after many weeks of watching her in discomfort and with progressively advanced dementia; the last eight weeks turned into a very difficult and sad waiting game. It's been a very painful time for all, but for me especially. I have been required to be strong and brave, to support the family, but haven't always wanted to be nor have I always been able to be. But for dear old Granny I think I have managed it quite well and done her proud and now sadly, she is gone. Gone to the beautiful house in the sky and God has finally welcomed her and found her a bed with the Angels.

Weekends would be our time together to chat and laugh over a good strong cuppa tea and Swiss roll in her old people’s bungalow. I would shop for her and arrive with the tea time goodies; make a brew in her loyal and traditional stainless teapot and help serve tea to us both in her rosebud bone china teacup and saucers with matching tea plates. Afternoon tea always had to be in cups and saucers.

The war and her childhood were her “fave” topics; we would talk about the past in great detail and I learnt so much. As a genealogy girl, I endeavoured to obtain as many juicy facts about the family from her as possible to add to the family tree, but the old girl was too clever for me and only told what she wanted, much to my disappointment. I did learn a lot though about a life and world past; fascinating facts about the workhouse and mills; the soldiers, families and the war and life as an evacuee. She told me about her life as a wartime bride and her courtship and the hard lifestyle of the 1930's and 40’s. she reminisced of her life as a children's governess for very “well to do” families; spoke of brass bed warmers and feather mattresses; goosanders, parlors, outside privies and fine tea trolleys. A life very far removed from what children recognise today. A life without television and telephone. My dear old Granny still lived in those dark days, washing by hand and scrubbing the floor on her hands a knees and .

At 92 years of age, wiry, frail, bent over and unsteady on her feet pushing her walking frame in her old floral piney, every Saturday tea and cake was proudly wheeled into the best living room on her gilt two tier tea trolley clad with faded but embroidered tray cloths edged in Buckinghamshire lace and tea plates with doilies and respectfully served to the family. It was a traditional and special occasion with warm fuzzy memories for me.

Those wonderful memories and stories live on in my memory and family tree even though she has now left us. Life comes so slow and yet so fast; death can be slow and yet so fast. Once here now gone. The last few weeks have been slow and painful but in the end fast and now laid to rest, God bless her soul, she is finally resting in God's house, at peace and I hope in a better place. At 92 she deserves to be able to rest. Worn out and tired she had done her time on earth; she told me she wanted to sleep for one hundred years and I hope she is now able to rest. Life is filled with interesting and poignant moments and memories to be treasured in order to remember our loved ones.  Tea and cake on Saturday afternoon’s will now be in memory of my dear old Granny. Bye bye Granny, RIP, untill we meet again.

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