31 December 2013

Who Rocks Your Socks?



This is my Nana, Reeny, still going strong at 97.  She rocks my socks, she does!

She keeps herself mentally active with Sudoku and Word Searches, crosswords and regular reading and still doesn't miss much.

Physically, she is frail, naturally, but still lives alone in the same house she's been in for more years than not, refusing to bow to family pressure to move to my Mum's.  She won't even consider going to a Day Care Centre for some social interaction because she doesn't want to be with a load of old people!

She fancies Il Divo something rotten and has been a bit lonely since her boyfriend of 23 years died in his late nineties.  He asked her to marry him, but she couldn't stomach the football on the telly every Sunday so gave that a miss as well.  I guess you know your own mind by then.

The real love of her life was my Grandad but she was widowed at 54 once he'd had a car accident and become ill.  She still talks very fondly of him and of some of her other regrets too.  It makes me question whether I still need to carry mine, if they're still going to be hanging around my neck at that age!

On the whole she is fab fun, the children adore her and I hope will remember her in years to come.

I once had a vision when she was 93, that she would still be with us when she was 97 and it was her Birthday just before Christmas.  I am praying for another one but it hasn't come yet.

She's survived a couple of heart attacks plus several Angina ones and soldiers on with crippling Arthritis, revolving her life around the Mobile Library and her fortnightly delivery of freezer to microwave meals, her hairdresser, gardener and cleaner, which makes her sound posh, but on the contrary, she lives on a Council Estate where all her neighbours look out for her.  It's amazing what you can get help with nowadays.

She loves a laugh and maintains her curiosity about everything, remembers King George V and Queen Mary, his wife 'very tall - always wore big hats,' and all that business with Edward VII and that 'avaricious' Mrs Simpson, his abdication and his brother Bertie coming to power, eventually passing down to our present 'very good Queen' Elizabeth II.

She can also recall incredible details about her holidays watching a DVD the family had converted from old cine film from when she was younger, also thanks to which we can see my sister and me running around as tots - a source of sheer delight (and confusion!) to my own two children and she gives us an impressive running commentary about who, what, where and when throughout it.

My biggest regret is not having spent as much time with her as possible over the years.  She lives in Nottingham, whereas we've always been down south.  But David Walliams is right about old people not necessarily being boring in his Gangsta Granny book / film, although if I were to refer to her as old she'd have my guts for garters.  She's always got some great words of wisdom for us all.

I'm proud to know her, to love her and have a Great Nana for the boys who is exactly that - a truly amazing inspiration.

Who rocks your socks?

Edit - My Nana never did make it to 98.  She passed away in June this year whilst having a scan on her heart in hospital.  I'm so glad she didn't fall and suffer, but we all miss her terribly and will be grateful for ever for having had her in our lives.

40 comments:

  1. It's lovely to read this. It is so easy to write off the older generations. They have so much life experience and wisdom, I don't know why we don't listen more and make the most of them. I wish so much I'd had extra time with my grandmother to ask her about her life. I recently found out through doing the family tree that she was a milliner before she got married and was originally from yorkshire, I'd have loved to have known more about that because she certainly hid it well with her polished 'posh' accent!
    My Husband's grandmother is still alive and I've enjoyed some great conversations with her, including a revelation about a Polish lover in the war....something my MIL certainly was not amused about when I started repeating...so I promptly shut up!

    Great post, and I totally can understand why your Grandmother rocks your socks. How very lovely to still have her around, for your sons to know her and enjoy her and how wonderful to have those old movies too. x

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    1. Thank you for such a comprehensive comment - I completely agree with you and it's our loss that we don't benefit more from their wisdom. Everyone has a story and I think older people have more than most! ;)

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  2. Oh my, what a lovely post! And your Nana sounds amazing and lovely! I think my stepmother's mother was always a big inspiration to me.

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    1. Thank you. She truly is. Will have to follow that up about your stepmother's mother I think :)

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  3. She sounds fantastic, reminds me of my Oma, knows her mind and isn't afraid to tell people her opinions :)

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    1. Thank you, she is and she isn't afraid either!

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  4. this is such a lovely post, she sounds like a fantastic lady

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  5. She's just lovely. Love that her boyfriend was 100 and she wouldn't marry him!

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    1. Thank you, she i. I forgot to mention she went out with him for 25 years so have adjusted the post!

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  6. What a bloody lovely post Anya, and what a wonderful lady she sounds. My Great Aunty Stell who isn't actually a relative but a family friend recently turned 100 and it's amazing to think of what she's seen in her lifetime.
    So important for your boys to grow up with such inspirational ladies around him (includes you - you rock my socks) x

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    1. I saw you'd written about an elderly friend as well! Excellent - she's full of good stuff too and, as you say, such people, nay women, are very important. Thank you for the compliment *wipes tear.* You rock mine too xx

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  7. She sounds so much like my own nan. She was 90 on Christmas Eve and is still soldiering on in her own house, refusing help and social clubs. Our younger generations are seriously missing something so valuable when they forget their elderly relations. They have so much wisdom and life lessons to teach us. Beautiful post. x

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    1. Ah, if only they were nearer one another! Yes, so much much needed wisdom! Thank you :) x

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  8. How wonderful to still have your Nana. She sounds amazing. My grandparents have all died and I still miss them 25 years on.

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    1. It is wonderful, you're right and I can imagine how much you miss them. I know I will miss her with all my heart if and when she eventually goes :( X

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  9. This is a wonderful idea for a post and your Nana sounds like an inspirational lady to have in your lives. I also love that she was pragmatic enought to refuse marriage again!

    My 'rock' was Sylvia, a family friend who looked after me from a baby and performed the amazing feat of transforming naturally into a friend and confidant when I grew up. She gave me some of the greatest advice of my life, she was utterly unshockable and she died very suddenly. To me she had the glamour of a 40s film star and every bone in her body was good. Thanks for making me think of her again tonight. x

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  10. Thank you Janie. Your 'rock' sounds a fantastic influence and I'm sorry you've lost her. I think their advice could save a great deal of strife and really wish I'd had been able to lean more on my Nana as I was growing up. I'm sure Sylvia will always remain in your heart :)

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  11. Sounds like a real 'one off'', interesting lady

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  12. She sounds an amazing lady! I love it that she fancies Il Divo! I think people forget that 'old' people have seen more and done more in their lives than most of us. Old refers to the body not the mind :)

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    1. There's hope for us all re Il Divo! You're so right x

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  13. Anya, your Nan sounds like such an amazing and strong woman. I hope you still have many Christmases to share with her x

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    1. Such kind things to say Carolin, thank you :)

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  14. Sounds wonderful! Both of my grandmothers lived well into their 90's, sadly my parents did not. Cherish your grandmother.

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    1. She is and am glad to see that about yours. So sorry your parents didn't follow on and I do and will continue to, thank you Catherine x

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  15. How fantastic to still have her with you at 97! My Granny lived to 93 and I have a much treasured photo of 4 generations of us together shortly before she died. And how wonderful that your boys will remember their Great Grandmother! Happy New Year! xx

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    1. Do they make 'em like that anymore? *note to self re photo* Her with my boys is a tremendous source of pride. Happy New Year to you too :) x

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  16. Oh she sounds wonderful! I have a Gran who has been going strong at 93 but sadly over the past few months has become a little frail. And so lovely to have that old film of you as a child. I'm still laughing at her boyfriend of 100 and his tv football; we all enjoyed Gangsta Granny over Christmas too. Happy New Year to you!

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    1. Good for your Gran and I hope she picks up again - mine's a bit up and down! I'm very proud of her for turning him down and there's a lot to be said for that lovely film too. Happy New Year as well! X

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  17. What a lovely inspirational lady - love the photo. My late grandmother had awful arthritis.... and she still, will always rock my socks. She sounds like one lady who really knows her mind. X

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    1. She is and thank you. You have often written about your love and admiration for your late grandmother - I feel quite fond of her myself. I really wish I could be as strong in my own mind as she is, but there's not really any excuse is there? xx

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  18. What a wonderful woman! She reminds me of my Nana Margaret who was fiercely independent and lived well into her nineties in her own home

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    1. How wonderful too! We all need women in our lives :)

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  19. She sounds totally awesome! Love this post xx

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    1. Thank you Sonya - great word for her! xx

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  20. What a lovely inspiring lady - and so nice to hear you talk of her so fondly. She reminds me very much of my own mother in some of the things you say - she was also an amazing lady.

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    1. Thank you - it's lovely to have her in our lives still and am sorry you have lost such an amazing mother xx

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  21. I read this, back when I got it on email, on my phone, in bed. Just dropping a line to say that I REALLY enjoyed it. She's rocking my socks too baby! xx

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    1. You're so kind - thank you Liska! Hope we're just like her when we're older! X

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