With International Women’s Day just past, I got to thinking about the woman in my family line. To my beautiful strong very focused daughter, ( a mothers dream) and to my mum, who I adore – it hasn’t always been that way as we had a pretty turbulent relationship and I spent a large part of my life being angry at her for all her failings.I have suggested to my daughter on more than one occasion “ please don’t make the mistake I did by wasting time being angry at me”. Since my mum died, almost 5 years ago, I am reminded more of her beautiful qualities and am truly grateful for the love and support she did show me and I miss her almost every day.
What I want to share today is what my Nanna taught me. She was a small woman not much more than 5 foot and very slight, she was a product of the depression and I believe she had a pretty loveless childhood. Growing up I spent most of my school holidays at my grandparents house as both of parents worked full time. I loved spending time with my nan, she never learned to drive so she walked everywhere, she was incredibly fit, lean and always healthy ( big clue there). Most days she walk the 2+ kilometres to her local shopping centre with her basket and collected the items that were needed.
My Nan didn’t show much affection but she did teach me how to cook, I loved how she would create delicious food in her kitchen which I am sure was filled with love, even though she found it hard to express her feelings, I did feel it and I could certainly taste it.
As I reflect back I feel a little sad that she seemed to be unable to receive, she gave and gave but to receive was something she did not do. Even down to giving her gifts for Christmas, birthdays or mothers day, everything that was given to her went straight to the bottom draw in the spare room to then be re-gifted at some later stage. The funny part was my grandfather ( he died at age 56, so she spent over 2 decades on her own) left my Nanna quite wealthy and she never really enjoyed what she had, simply choosing to stick to her modest weekly shopping money. She lived till she was 93 and seemed content with her lot. She taught me resilience, how to nourish my family and to be independent.
I am grateful for all the women that have gone before me and carved the way for me to live the free life I live now. My Nan is always in my heart and definitely with me when I am cooking.
What have you learned from the woman in your line?