The love of Grandparents

Saturday 1471 – 19th May 2012

Last Saturday I wrote about the trip I took up to Kew Gardens. I had a great day really enjoying myself amongst all that flora… nothing like losing yourself with a bit of nature. What I had forgotten to mention was that there was a glorious bluebell area and I could smell the bluebells. Yes I did say SMELL the bluebells. Now unless you have been following this blog for a while you won’t have the faintest idea why that is so great but as I wrote about here  I haven’t had any sense of smell for many ,many months. I am very pleased to be able to say there is now some improvement and some days I am able to smell if the smell is quite powerful 🙂

However I think I rather overdid it ( NO ! not the smelling !) as I was exhausted and felt very flat the next day 😦 but I have to say that my photography and keeping my 2 blogs going has been good therapy for me. It’s given me something to focus my energy on and I can become completely absorbed in it. A wonderful escape from stresses and strains. Actually is that really a good or a bad thing? I wonder…

Back to this Saturday. Well I spent it sort of hanging about really.  It’s been a very difficult week all round.  Late on Monday I discovered that my mum was in hospital ( the hospital is 4 hrs drive from me and I haven’t been to see her yet) On Tuesday I had an electrician and double glazing workman in the house  and later in the day heard that my late ex-husbands mother had died at the age of 96. I’ll come back to this a bit later.

Again as some of you will know if you’ve been following my blog I’ve been off work with stress related illness ( I wrote about it here ) and on Tuesday morning I had visited my GP because I didn’t feel as though I was improving. She prescribed some meds ( I had been resisting) which of course made me a bit drowsy for a few days which is why I haven’t seen my mum yet. Then on Thursday 2 more workmen arrived to refit my bathroom, put new floor in, tile etc.. They are still here. Great workers and very friendly but you know how it is, your home no longer feels like your own.. in and out, in and out they go and it’s bloomin cold here still, even though it is mid May.. but I am glad to be getting it done.. I bought all the materials in the January sales of 2011 !!! so it’s about time.

Anyway later when the workmen were gone I packed up a few things because I’m going to visit my mum tomorrow and will stay overnight in a B&B so that I can see her on Monday too and talk to the Consultant. As any of you who are single will know it is VERY expensive to go and stay in a hotel or B&B.  Single supplements…. grrrrrrr.

Enough of all that and back to my ex mother-in-law Jane or Jennie as she was known and her husband Jim.

Here’s an old photo of  them both ( Jim also lived to 96) taken many years ago and scanned in  – it seems to be the only one of the 2 of them that I have on the computer and I think it was taken by my daughter on her little camera.  I’m sure I have better photos of them somewhere but not on the computer and anyway this is really how they were.

Jim and Jennie were the salt of the earth type of people, hard working farmers and deeply religious ( we didn’t see eye to eye on that one)  They had a very happy marriage indeed and I wanted to  pay my little tribute to them because they were the best grandparents children could ever hope to have.

Jim was always funny and came with a sweet or 2 in his pocket; Jennie was always there with a kiss and a squeeze for them. They both loved my 2 to bits and of course they had their faults but who doesn’t ?  They were very well-known in the little Irish village where they lived and surrounding area especially Jim who ,as I experienced when I first met him, would always give you the Irish version of the Spanish Inquisition. He knew everything about everybody but there was no malice in him. he was just naturally nosey!!

It feels like the end of an era and hard for my 2 as they had to go back to Ireland for the funeral which was held yesterday. I had been separated from their father since 2000 and it would not have been appropriate for me to go but the reports I had back from my friends, who also attended, was that they carried themselves with great dignity with my daughter speaking at the funeral. I’m even more proud of them than I usually am, particularly because over the last  5 years they have lost first their grandfather followed soon after by their father, an only child,  and now their grandmother.  Not easy for them and they have coped remarkably well ; being the very best of friends has really helped them. 

Just before I go I’d like to show you another photo  which shows my son aged 4 on the morning of his first school day. It’s always been a favourite of mine even though again the quality is not good and it shows how untidy the house was! . I think you can see that Jim has a mischievous smile.

He certainly managed to retain a  childlike quality. 

Have  you ?



Saturday girl signing off .. see you next week. 

P.s. If you don’t already know I also have a daily photography blog called Helen’s Photomania which you can find here I hope you’ll pop over and take a look


21 comments on “The love of Grandparents

  1. Hi Mate
    hope it goes well with your mom…..

    • Helen Cherry says:

      Thanks Stuart.. I appreciate it. She will definitely have to go into care.. it’s been a while coming I think..

      • My mom is currently in a step down facility but poised to go home….hand on heart and I’m sure this sounds really nasty of me but I’m dreading it….My mom who was always adamant about staying out of any organised care has responded incredibly well to be somewhere she was looked after 24/7 and will find being alone again for large amounts of time a huge and not very positive surprise….
        Residential care, when its good (and I know thats not always the case), really can be the very best bet for all involved. I do hope things work out well for both you and your mom.

      • Helen Cherry says:

        Thanks Stuart. I appreciate it.. As someone who goes in and out of residential/nursing homes a lot as a safeguarding lead I can tell you that many of them are not great so good on your mum for wanting to try to stay at home..

      • Its her idea of me on full time beck and call duties that has me a trifle concerned……….
        Still, I can always leave a roller skate at the top pf the stairs…

  2. I like the way your father-in-law wore his flat cap indoors and out. And I’m glad to hear your nose smells 😉

    • Helen Cherry says:

      He did Ziggy… it’s a farmer thing 🙂 Don’t get over-excited about the smell thing.. it’s very hit and miss but that is still better than nothing !

  3. Adrian Lewis says:

    Boy you’re having a very full time, Helen! Good to see the old photos and hear the stories. Hope your mum is doing ok. Adrian

  4. Rachael says:

    I am sorry to hear of your loss, Helen. This is a poignant memorial.

  5. Marleen says:

    Lovely piece Helen. Nice memories….

    The smell of bluebells must be the nicest one in nature; it’s definitively my favourite!

    • Helen Cherry says:

      Thank you Marleen.. It is certainly one of my favourites but there are many I’ve been missing, the damp smell of woodland, honeysuckle, new mown grass of course! sweet peas… old English Roses to name but a few

  6. mary haren says:

    that was lovely Helen. I could see at the funeral that Jenny was much loved by her community

  7. mary says:


  8. scillagrace says:

    Thank you for this post from your heart…you’ve had quite an emotional time lately, haven’t you? Change is the way of life, and sometimes, it’s easy to accept, sometimes it takes a while. Great to hear that your sniffer is recovering! Being proud of our kids is a great reward, too, isn’t it?

  9. Wonderful pic of you son and his grandpa:)

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