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Grandmother

By Michael Piggott

It was the time between the great wars, a time when some have said — and was not Phiroz among them? — that England was at its best.

Her name was Mary. She had three girls and a son to raise, her husband had died very young. One wonders what must have gone through her mind, particularly when the second great war began and her offspring were scattered in the drama of life.

One remembers her often — the little jobs that brought such delight and the “I’ll take you home Nan” — another chance to sit behind the wheel of a car — such a delight when one has just passed the test.

You would watch her go in. One always felt at home there, how tidy it was. She had a television and one marvelled at it, then she would make tea in a beautiful teapot, how different it all was then. One remembers her silver hair, shining like a new pin, shining like her house. Her children shone too, perhaps one didn’t realize it at the time, but they shone, perhaps it was love that shone, perhaps they were filled with love.

Harsh words, one does not remember them, one knew only happiness. How true it seems that the most precious things are freely given and how easily taken for granted.

Many years it is since she died, but her children remain, as do her grand children and her great grand children, and whether they know it or not she remains too.

One Mother and from her the few have become the many, of different ages, of different gifts, who can measure her influence, who can see where it may end?

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