January 25th, 2012 by J
Why is it the end of an era? Well perhaps I should start at the beginning.
I have been thinking a lot the last week about a legacy. What it means, what it is and what resonates through time.
For me a legacy is not about what physical mark you make on the world it is about whom you are and the way you affect people through your life. Let me give you an example:
On the 31st November 1919 in a small mining village in Wales a little girl was born to a loving mother (housewife) and father (Miner), she also had a sister and a brother making up the small family. Not an easy life but a decent one.
Forward a few years and the young girl has grown and matured into a young woman in 1930s London working as a PA. A few more years forward and she is now set to be married to a man approved of by her parents and Britain is on the brink of war.
Forward again, Britain is at war, husband to be is off abroad and the woman has fallen deeply in love with another man. A scandal! Thankfully the mans parents are more liberal than most and despite the protestations of her family the woman stays with her love.
Jump forward to the 1950’s, a flat in Wandsworth London, the woman and her husband have a child, a little girl of there own. Life has changed and family ties have been rebuilt. Wife and husband will spend nearly 50 years in this flat, they will see London change around them, people come and go, and life long friends are made. Their child will grow, marry and have a child of her own.
For the next 50 years the woman will be a wife, mother, grandmother and great grand mother. She will have a career spanning 30 years, she will learn and teach the piano, she and her husband will travel to France, Italy, Spain, Germany, Turkey and she will even go by herself to Belfast in the 1990s. She will never learn to drive, She will walk every where, Make her own bread, Sing with her choir, She will loose her brother, her sister and her parents.
Most of all she will live and breathe every moment.
When time starts to take its toll on her husband she will nurse him for 2 years with no complaints until he passes on.
At this point a new chapter will open in her life, while scary she embraces.
Forward to 31st November 2009, the woman is 90. She now lives in a Small Village in Cornwall; she still walks 3 miles every day with her dog. Life is simpler now but no less active.
The woman still sings with a local choir, still goes the theatre with her new friends, and still goes for Sunday lunch at a local pub.
Forward to 31st November 2010.
At 91 she has been told by doctors that due to angina she really needs to stop the daily walk, but on her 91st with her family around her she still walks herself into her Birthday lunch.
Time has taken its toll on her appearance but not her mind.
Forward to 31st November 2011.
At 92 the woman is sharp as a nail as she gives her Great-granddaughter advice on her piano playing, and talks to her Grandson about the entire goings on in the village. She is tired but a fighter.
On the 15th January 2012 her grandson will visit her in a nursing home where she has been for 3 days. They chat for an hour about all that is going on in life until she says she is tired and he leaves her to rest.
In the early hours of Tuesday 17th January 2012 Iris finally succumbed to the tiredness that had been nagging her for the last two months and rest for ever more.
Iris was my Grandmother.
I and the generations that follow me through history are her legacy.
Rest easy now we will take it from here……