Do you remember when…… fond memories

Choosing where to start this journey has been pre-occupying my thoughts over the last few days. I’ve kept returning to the same starting point and repeatedly dismissed it as too personal but then again…..

People pass through our lives on a daily basis. Some slip by unnoticed while others leave a huge footprint in our hearts. One tiny little lady who left a huge indelible mark on me and on many others was my Wee Gran. I could ramble on for hours reminiscing about her but won’t ( I may share more tales at a later date – we’ll see)

One thing that always struck me was the amount of change and progress she had seen in the world she lived in. Born in the Outer Hebrides of Scotland in 1902 she saw two World Wars,  lived through the reigns of four kings and a queen, saw man land on the moon and saw technology that we take for granted evolve beyond belief. Simple things that we wouldn’t give a second thought to created memories that lived with her forever. I remember we asked her once  when did she see her first car. She thought for  a moment  or two before replying ” I don’t know what year it was but it was a Tuesday.”

“A Tuesday?” we echoed.

“Yes I was on my way to the prayer meeting.”

Do you remember the first car you saw?  I don’t.

There’s a myriad of similar tales. A lifetime of memories left behind by this little lady. And to those who had the good fortune to know her – who will ever forget the taste of her pancakes?

One of  the most heart breaking moments of my life was the day I walked into her house to visit as usual and she didn’t know who I was. Even now over nine years later  there are tears in my eyes and a lump in my throat  as I remember the scene. Old age had finally caught up and stolen away the Wee Gran I knew and love, leaving behind a frail,  scared, old lady. I only saw her another twice after that day (it was too hard- and selfishly I wanted to keep my wonderful memories of her intact). She passed away a few months later a month shy of her 103rd birthday.

The poem below was written a very long time ago. I don’t often write about those dear to me for fear of offending or embarrassing them. I feel though that this captures my memories of  this very special lady –

My Wee Gran

She sits in her big red armchair, hand touching her left ear

Eyes alert. Swift look at the clock-

It’s not lunchtime- yet.

Up since dawn she stifles a yawn

Ankles crossed- feet twitching slightly

Two clocks tick- only one is wound nightly.

The wireless is on- it’s McGregor again

A daily ritual in number nineteen

Memories flicker into conversation as a man tells of the death of a generation.

She dresses plain- no jewellry to be seen- only her slim wedding band.

She starts to talk using her hand.

Jumper and pinafore- uniform- regulation blue cardigan- well worn

A smile leaps to her lips- more memories into conversation

Two clocks still tick.

Now it’s lunchtime- the ritual is at an end.

Up she gets- wireless switched off- McGregor is finished for today.

It will be on again next day.

The big red armchair stands empty

Into the kitchen my wee gran’s away

9 responses to “Do you remember when…… fond memories

  1. Wonderful. Thank you for sharing. I now feel as though I met her 🙂 x


  2. Coral this has made me cry. I remember my Wee Gran with such love too. I miss her a lot, think of her daily. She was everything a gran should be, loving, kind, generous (to a fault). ❤


  3. Lovely piece and poem – both bring your Wee Gran to life wonderfully. xx


  4. Loved this, reminded me of Seamus Heaney’s “A Call”
    Thank you for sharing such a personal piece of writing. The clock imagery really works for me…as it does for our elderly friends/rellies. Our generation doesn’t seem so tied to the clock..? Any more poyums? Dianne x


  5. Oh Coral, your memories brought back my own of my beloved grandmother. I only had little time with her, as she died of cancer when I was 13, but she will forever be the person that I loved most as a child. I was her first grandchild, so maybe that’s one of the reasons, why there was a special bond between the two of us. The thing I regret most is that my husband never met her. He would have loved her too, I’m sure of that. And I do not even start to think about her cooking. An old woodstove was all she had, but the delicious meals that she served… Thanks for sharing. Your Wee Gran would be proud of you!


  6. Theses types of stories and images are so beautiful. Thank you for sharing, your Gran sounded like an amazing person 🙂


  7. Wonderful! And made me teary too – thinking of our wee gran who we said goodbye to last year ❤


  8. Pingback: Happy 5th Blogiversary To Me | coralmccallum

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