Just a few years ago I was one of five generations of women in my family. I was generation four, Erin was generation five.
Five years ago my Great Nan died, she was 98. The women in our family have always been known to be strong. My Great Nan was from the generation that lived through two world wars. When things got difficult, they did not fall apart.
A couple of weeks ago we lost another generation – my Nan. She lived through a world war, and many personal challenges. Did she crumble? No she didn’t. We are women, hear us roar. We don’t fall apart when things get difficult.
I was brought up with this ethos. We were strong, independent, and capable women – and I was one in a line of them.
I have long dreaded the moment of her passing. I am close to both my grandparents, I even lived with them for a few years. There was a special bond there and the thought of losing either of them was painful.
Yet the end came and I discovered that I had inherited more of that strength than I had thought. I didn’t feel diminished by her death, I felt strengthened. Almost like a baton was being passed, and it was my time to step up and continue the line.
I’m the middle generation now. One of only three – for now.
While there is some nostalgic sadness. She had given all she had to give. Years and years of happy memories which will be reminisced over fondly for years to come. What a legacy to leave. What a bar she has set for us.
When you’ve been given so much from someone, they never really leave you. She lives on, not only in our memories, but in the way she shaped each one of us.
So it’s not really goodbye, it’s thank you.
Thank you for the memories. Thank you for the life lessons. You ran a good leg of the relay, and now it’s our turn.