Kassi Martin's Blog
Acknowledging Our Ancestors
Mary: "I can relate through my own Grandmother's story. My Grandmother was born in 1912 in Ireland. When the Spanish flu happened in 1918/19 she lost both parents within one week of one another. My Grandmother was six or seven yrs old and had two sisters and a brother.
An aunt brought them to Scotland and took them into her home. She was clever at school and excelled at languages. French and Latin. She left school at fourteen with the highest award in the school. Nowadays teenagers would go onto higher education although, probably out of duty and a sense of having to make her own way in the world by earning money etc, she went into service as a maid to one of the wealthier families.
A few years later she got married and went on to have nine children. In the days of no washing machines, she had bedsheets out at 5am.
This is one reason I am very grateful for modern appliances! Having a family in those days was a full time job. They were hard times. During the second World war, my Grandfather was in Greece as a mechanic in the army. By this time she had five children to look after on her own. Not to mention ration books for food etc.
I never heard her complain about her past or hardship and I honour her strength, tenacity and her sense of humour. I always felt her loving kindness towards me especially when my own father died in a car accident when I was about the same age as her and without words, I felt a profound empathy, love and bond emanating from her. This was a great teaching in itself and I am beyond grateful!
It's so important to honour our ancestors for their hard work and endurance. She had a smile and a positive greeting for her neighbours everyday. And still through her life she never forgot her French and Latin!!
Grandmother died when I was a teenager and I never asked her questions about her life that I would ask now. Another lesson for me - listen to their stories whenever you can!! Sending Love to her and all of your ancestors too.
Thank you Kas for bringing the Ancestors into focus and for your beautiful and empathic writing.
Much Love to all," Mary, Scotland