Monday, 12 January 2015

RIP Grandma Lolly

Grandma Lolly on her 80th birthday.
And yes that is me, with longer and
darker hair.
This is one of those blogs that are difficult to know where to begin. Something that you know may happen sometime and then the day arrives. Ian's mother passed away today, Little Grandma to our children and Grandma Lolly to all her great-grandchildren. So it seems only appropriate to talk a little about this remarkable woman.

The snow has been getting deeper here
just lately
Lolly was her real name, a little unusual admittedly but that was the name her mother gave her. She was 4ft 10 inches (147cm) in her stocking feet, but feisty with it. Her sons would know about it if they misbehaved for Mam, as she was known by them. She was born in 1926, two months after the Queen. This meant that she was a youngster in the Second World War and her first job on leaving school was in service in a big house, in other words a maid, not sure exactly which big house, but I am sure her older sons would know. Certainly it is a world away from the type of employment youngsters would expect to go into today. She met Ian's dad in the mine canteen where she went onto work and they were married for sixty years, giving birth to three boys about seven years between each of them, with Ian being the youngest.

And painting some amazing patterns on our greenhouse
The weather was glorious here today, even if the news wasn't
Mam did not do any remarkable exploits like set up a business, or run for office or anything like that. She was a cleaner for a dentist for many years, but Mam and Dad lived for their family. They could have gone away more, or "done things" that people do when their children leave home, but they were content to be at home and receive the family as often as they chose to visit and visit they did. There was one thing that all of her grandchildren could expect from Grandma and Granda (and yes this is really about both of them, even though Ian's dad passed away about nine years ago), was a warm welcome, no matter who they turned up with or what exploits they had been up to, Grandma and Granda would be there to cheer them on.
The tractor has had many outings this winter

Mam and Dad on one of those special visits, when our
children were young. Makes you realise how long ago
it was, that little baby there is now 25!
They didn't even do special things together with the children, which is what you would expect from such warm memories of grandparents, but what they did do is spoil them rotten while they were there, tell lots of family stories and importantly always take notice of what the kids had to say. I have to mention at this point that Ian's dad was one of the sweetest men you would ever know, who would never put anyone out if he could help it. He also had a huge amount of humour and I am sure something that helped them through many of life's struggles. Ian's mother also had a remarkable way with the bairns, as she called them. Even though she had been in poor health for many years, she could still quieten a baby down to sleep and for some reason even the bouncy ones were content to just sit on her knee.
Granda with our daughter in the garden at our house in the UK

Still welcoming little ones 

Ian's mum about two years ago. Still had
the knack with the wee bairns

Only a portion of the knitted jumper on our youngest
child on the left, but you can see she could do some quite
complicated patterns. Pity we haven't got photos of the
whole jumper.
Mam used to be an avid knitter until the fibres started to irritate her too much and she always knitted the kids Christmas jumpers when they were younger. Mam was also a fairly traditional cook and didn't do many of the fancy dishes, something Dad would have hated anyway, but what she did cook she cooked well and if there is one thing that will go down in history is Mam's Yorkshire puddings. Every Sunday she would do roast beef, gravy, heaps of mashed potatoes, boiled to death vegetables and loads of those Yorkshire puddings. There was often a house full and I am sure it was as much for those Yorkshires, as it was for their company. There is often a sense of disappointment in our household when our Yorkshires do not match the quality of Grandma's and elation when we get them right.
Another glimpse of that jumper, only because he was so cute.
There has been a lot of snow clearing
going on just lately
So there you have it! An unremarkable life, expect for one peppered with heaps of love and lots of warm memories. Three sons, eight grandchildren, twelve great grandchildren and two great-great grandchildren. Although she never actually got to see them, she was also happy to hear the news of two more great grandchildren on the way later on this year.
Our car this morning

And what about us?
I have to put a bit of a disclaimer on this as I think the facts are correct on this, but sometimes the facts get a little hazy in the re-telling and with sons spread out over those numbers of year, it gets confusing as to who is who, so there maybe a chance that I might have to update things later but I think the most important details are there anyway.

and me? Well yes, we have sorted out today someone to
come and look after them. 


  1. Sorry to hear your sad news. Love and blessings to you both and all the family.

  2. Sorry for your loss Joanna. You've written a lovely tribute.

  3. This is a lovely tribute toba lovely lady. Hugs to you all X

  4. What a remarkable story! One life, making such a difference to so many. Sorry for your loss.

  5. She sure has Tommy, she has influenced doctors and nurses, car and bike mechanics and designers and those are just the ones I know of. Not everyone can say they have had such a positive influence in so many different directions and that was just through being one of their biggest cheerleaders, the other was Granda

  6. I'm sorry to hear of your loss. I would say this lady had a remarkable life, the love she shared, the devotion to her children. Her legacy is love and memories....

  7. A good legacy to have Karen, thank you

  8. My sincere sympathies on your family's loss. You have produced a lovely tribute. A live well lived. Blessings and peace...

  9. Sorry to hear of your loss, but this was a special tribute to a life well lived.


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