Wednesday, 31 August 2016

An Important Person In Your Life

I saw this photo recently.
My favourite actress Olivia De Havilland is 100 years old.

I am lucky because I have had a good number of vitally important people in my life
The Prof , my sisters, my best friends, all are as essential to me as breathing, but this photo of the serene and gracious De Havilland reminded me so much of someone who taught me how to be warm. How to love without strings and baggage , and how to laugh at life with all it's brickbats and hard times.
The photo reminded me of my maternal Grandmother, Mary Helena Fry

My gran had a big heart.
She loved easily and was loved
She had an incredibly hard early life
And gave her grandchildren the strength to cope with our slightly sad childhoods.

Who was the most important person in your early life?
And why
Hey ho

49 comments:

  1. As long as I can remember . . . my dad was most influential in my life. A gentle, kind man, gruff at first meet . . . somehow it was what made him more endearing. I always felt he had time for me . . . to listen, to encourage, to care.

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  2. Beautiful post. I have to say that my mother was the most important part of my early life but not always in a way that I am grateful for. There were teachers and a few others, one of whom I was just thinking about the other day. A woman who loved me for just being me and who nurtured and treated me as special and she didn't have to. I wouldn't be who I was today if not for her. Her name was Dorothy, or as we called her, "Aunt Dot." Thank you for letting me give her tribute here.

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  3. We all need an auntie dot xxx

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  4. My Maternal grandmother, Mary. She was the salt of the earth and introduced me to tea and toast. :)

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  5. I write fairly frequently over in my corner of the Cyberverse about a slightly hybrid character known as Grandmother Muscato - but the Ruth is that both the original models for this formidable person were all too real and all too wonderful.

    Of the two, though, our maternal grandmother was best summed up by by one of my brothers in a slightly tipsy, late night moment of reflection: the only person one's ever seen who actually, in real life, never showed anyone anything but unconditional love.

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  6. my maternal grandmother, julia. I don't think I would be here now without her guidance.

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  7. My parents, who taught me how to love, are certainly the most important people in my life. However, there have been others along this journey in life who have taught me so much about how to live and how to give and get joy. My friend, Edythe, was a acquaintance for about 20 years. I knew that she had lung cancer and beat it and then her husband, who was 20 yrs older than her, died of lung cancer. We went to her home to give her our condolences, and from there, our whole lives changed. From that time, a whole new world opened up and we became best friends. It is a long story, but let me say, that we became better people because of this marvelous woman. Her cancer returned a year or so later, but we had marvelous times with this woman. We learned so much, we smiled so much, and we had adventures, because this lady was not going out with a wimper but with power and love of every minute of her life. I spoke her eulogy, but nothing could do her justice. Gone now, 13 years, but her postive energy will live with me till my last breath.

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    1. This has made a huge lump in my throat... I am sorry for your loss of people so important in your life xx

      Jo in Auckland, NZ

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  8. Your post really made me think. I can honestly say that I did not have a solid, influential female in my young life. I had some examples of women that I remind myself to NOT become. I think maybe my father-in-law was someone who was genuinely kind, nonjudgmental, loving. My kids really missed out by not having him in their lives for long, as he died from brain cancer several years ago. -Jenn

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  9. The most important person in my early life was my grade 7 teacher, who managed to get through to me that I wasn't an invisible nobody. Thank you Mrs M.

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  10. For me it was Mother Mary Janet, a nun of the Sacred Heart Order. She was my 7th grade teacher, when I was at my most awkward and shy stage. She used to put her arm around my shoulder sometimes and she always said my name. For a young girl who was never touched except in anger and called many things except her name, she was a godsend. I will never forget her and her tender smile. I think of her often.
    Thanks for reminding me.

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  11. I was lucky to have both parents love me unconditionally from my earliest memory. I've come to realize how many people didn't get that start in life, and am more than ever thankful for it.

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  12. My grandmother and her friends were so important to me. Gran was really smart but lived in a backwater town. She made the most of her opportunities as did her friends. All were successful in life. Our family kind of fell apart when she died.

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  13. My Nan who loved me with her whole heart. I was lucky enough to have two wonderful primary teachers who took a foul mouthed, feral child and gave her some manners, but today I farewelled my high school English teacher Al Roberts, who thought every child was special and taught accordingly. His last words to me were 'you've got to encourage the ones who aren't very good' - loving but honest! It was standing room only at his funeral. He was a mentor to so many. Great question to ask of us.

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  14. My maternal grandmother, Oralee Lewis. My early childhood was difficult with two parents who drank too much and fought constantly, but she was always a stable, loving presence in my life. Her house was a safe place for me and I loved her dearly. She passed away when I was 19 years old and I still love and miss her so much. She made a big difference in my life. ♡

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    1. I love your grandmother's name Oralee!! It has a very tuneful sound to it. God bless her passing xx

      Jo in Auckland, NZ

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    2. Thank you so much, Jo! My grandmother would be amazed to know that someone on the other side of the world complimented her name or thought of her at all. She never dreamed of the world that the internet has opened up to us. Your comment made my day! :)

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  15. Guess what? My maternal Grandmother was a Fry too! Ethel Fry nee Sherbrook. She married a Fry called Andrew and he had a sister called Mary! I wonder if she was your Grandma? She was 11 in 1911. That would be very cool! Mine too was a wise, warm,lovely lady even though her husband was a rat bag. :)

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  16. My older sister was definitely an important influence in my childhood and early adult stages of my life. Cannot imagine how godawful life would have been without her.

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  17. Certain school friends. Being away at boarding school they became the closest and most influential people in one's life.

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  18. My paternal grandma and grandpa...... they were shelter in a stormy sea.... No matter where i was being yanked from place to place i always knew where they were... I always knew that every summer vacation would be spent with them and i knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that i was loved.......

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  19. Nobody at all I can think of. I just roamed about without a rudder until I met P who introduced me to unconditional love, something I had never experienced before.

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  20. Many actors have had wonderfully kind faces, Lynda Carter, Angela Thorne, Gene Wilder, but Olivia De Havilland is exceptional. There is something close to ideal in that face.

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  21. Mrs Whiffen......an elderly lady who started me off playing the piano, taught me how to sew, and taught me how to be when I got to be her age....which I now am!

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  22. Aside from my parents, it has to be my art teacher at school. The only true human teacher we had, or so it seems. He came to our awful school having suffered mental problems which culminated in a nervous breakdown, and wasn't scared to admit it. He encouraged me to waste my time by going to Art School.

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  23. Having had a 'slightly sad' childhood myself, two people stick out in my mind. A neighbour who sat with me and stroked my head when I was ill and a cousin who was so lovely and sweet. She still is today. I like to think these two people have helped shape me into the 'me' of today x

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  24. My mother who walked so fast and now so slow ! She taught in special educational schools & on days off my school, I went with her ( can you imagine being allowed to do that these days ? ) I loved her dress style... tall, slim, red hair ( no longer ! )
    Mum has been the perfect granny giving the grand children idyllic holidays.

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  25. My grandmother, she taught me such a lot, there's something about grandmothers isn't there?

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  26. When I was growing up it was my Nana, she just listened to me and gave me the gift of her time. Listening is a good quality to have, especially to children it gives you a sense of self-worth that sometimes busy parents don't/can't give you.

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  27. Both husbands and my son of course - and one or two really good friends, whose friendship I value greatly. I hardly remember my grandparents so they played little part in my life. One English teacher, Miss Ryder, stands out as being a great influencs.

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  28. My parents, without a doubt. From my sharp talking; generous to a fault mum. Then my dad who only told me the funny stories from the war; he had been rescued off the beaches at Dunkirk and being just over five foot he nearly drowned, however he rested his head on his mates back and slept. This I believe as he could sleep anywhere. Hard, hungry, physically painful childhoods these two people had, but they surrounded me with love, laughter and a get-on-with attitude. Love Andie xxx

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  29. For me there wasn't just one "most important" person. They were all "most important". My brothers. My parents. Other villagers. Childhood friends. It was the happy context in which I found myself and they all played their parts.

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  30. I'll want to think about this, probably my paternal-grandmother. We spent a lot of time together.

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  31. Grandmothers must just be that way. Both mine were wonderful and I was very happy to spend time with them.

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  32. Maternal gran - my mum and I didnt see eye to eye till she was dying. My dad causes me a lot of angst. My gran Flossie to her friends or Floss never heard her called Florence was a lovely lady. She lived to see my eldest reach toddlerdom but mourned my mum dying at 56. She was my rock when I had PND and despite being frail gave good advice. She was one of 12 and I think her mum she told me got pregnant out of wedlock and the lad responsible's parents wouldnt let him marry. She married someone else and life was hard. Gran worked in service and her knees were shot to pieces in later life from scrubbing floors. She kept a bit house cooked huge meals and raised 2 kids and myself and a hord of cats. She married a man who was a spoilt only child and very religious but she was very open minded despite her faith. She would say it like it was. Miss her dreadfully and wished she could have seen my second son. RIP. John treasure your memories of her she sounds a gem. xx

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  33. When I was a child I live in Shepherd's Bush in London on Goldhawke Road, we lived in a Maisonette above a flat that was above a motorcycle shop. Every day my Aunt visited my mum and I she was Aunty Rosie.. she always brought me a jam doughnut. She was a darling of a woman.. all of this, I didn't understand until I was much older... but I always remember my Aunty Rosie. Now of course I know she was my Dad's Aunt.. my Great Aunt.. but when I was 4 .. she was my lady of the doughnut ... God Bless Aunty Rosie...RIP

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  34. My father was killed in an accident a month before my birth. My mother was smart enough to leave me with my grandmother ( her mother) and my grandfather while she made her way in the world.
    My grandmother was a tiny bird-like woman who only knew how to love ... she was gentle, quiet, sweet and taught me everything there is to know about maternal love.
    My grandfather was a US Marine Drill Sergeant.
    He was quickly and easily wrapped around my tiny baby fingers the first month of my life and we stayed that way, until he died ..
    My mothers sisters were teens when I was born .. I was so lucky, to have all those mommies loving me and carrying me and helping me. I miss them all.

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  35. ps* I met and married my husband when I was 21. So he was my family for the longest part of my life ..

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  36. My maternal grandparents. Neither were like my uptight, timid, constantly fussy mother. My Nan was cheerful, generous, helpful, always doing something and had a wicked sense of humour. My parents had a petty racist streak (which I naturally rebelled against as soon as I realised), so my nan would just so happened to have cooked a curry the night before we visited to subtly wind her up. Another trick was that when cold callers arrived at the door, she would greet them with her sets of false teeth on the wrong jaws. Again subtle, confusing but very clever. She'd been South Wales Charleston champ as a teen, and was reputedly the first girl in the Valleys to get her hair done in an Eton Crop. The rebellious streatk stuck and got passed down to me. My little Welsh grandad was in many ways the opposite of my nan, and I get my more studious, reflective side from him. He'd been a Desert Rat during the war and craved nothing more than a quiet life. He was content to a life based around gardening, nature and watching horse racing. He was also very fond of saving things to reuse. He'd rise out all the used plastic drinks cups at work and bring them home to plant seedlings in, and once brought home a load of titanium discs that were waste and turned them into a bird scarer mobile for the garden. I also inherited from him, and because of him, an odd phobia - foam rubber sponge. He brought home a sackload of offcuts from the seat making division of the helicopter factory. I opened the cupboard and the whole lot came down on me. (He was afraid of seeing a lemon cut in half, and yes, my nan used to have fun at his expense over this).

    Times spent with them was definitely my escape from the repressed, strict and sometimes mean spirited time at home. It was where I became me.

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  37. I was fortunate enough to have two terrific parents and two full sets of grand parents as well as a great grandmother. They were all extremely important to me and I don't think I could separate one from the other in order of importance and value.

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  38. I'm a day late and dollar short, again. There were many people who were kind to me when life was not. I don't think my childhood was worse than anyone else's in toto, but there was a constant theme of rejection and disapproval and loss which I never understood. I carry it with me now and to my death, I suppose.
    A shout out, then, to my great Aunt Fran. She was a retired Lt. Colonel from the US Air Force when women were not colonels in the US military. She saw something in me more than being just another kid from a dirty coal town. She exposed me to better things in life and inspired me to be better and to learn more. She started me playing the piano from which I went on to become a church organist. Her family did not understand her when she came back home after she retired, but I think I always understood and accepted her. Thanks Aunt Fran, I always remember you with flags and flowers on Memorial Day.

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  39. My grandmother Jessie....she genuinely liked me! What a gift!

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  40. What a lovely picture and description of your grandmother.
    My maternal grandmother, Grammy, is one of those people for me. She was always there for me, taught me so much, gave me so much love. I was sure lucky to have her.

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  41. There have been quite a few important folks in my life, and coincidentally, my most current post contains a tribute to my beloved Great Auntie Mae. The tribute arrives after a bunch of photographs of front gardens in my neighborhood. xo

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  42. Reading that just grabbed my chest. My grandmother too was so special to my life.

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  43. My paternal grandmother is the person I would name. She was a teeny, boys'-boots-with-shirtwaist-dress wearing woman who couldn't give a flip about housework and who sewed her own "drawers" out of potato sacks. She supported herself with a small truck garden and by outrunning the game warden and selling the hundreds of trout and other fish she caught. She loved me unconditionally. She pulled the car door open to drag us grandchildren out of the backseat before my father could fully stop the car under her big sycamore tree. I realize now that some of her unconventional ways were economic necessities, but she didn't have to love us so lavishly. When I would wake at home in another state, I would keep my eyes closed as long as possible, hoping that when I opened them, I would see the cast iron light fixture with the bare bulbs on her ceiling, original to the house when electricity was new. When my grandparents died and their neighbor bought the land, planning to tear down the house, that light fixture from that bedroom was my choice as a remembrance.

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  44. Lovely memories..just read them all before watching the recorded second episode of bake off xxx

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  45. Oh my goodness! You have just brought a big tear to my eye. My maternal Nan could be sisters with your paternal Grandmother. My Nanny Gladys, who was a huge part of my childhood. I was lucky to have had her, but I did share her with 26 cousins and my 2 siblings and I did selfishly wish I could have had her all to myself. Thanks so much for making stop and think about her....

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