SSS received news yesterday that a friend has recently lost her much loved grandmother. I know that sadly many of you out there will know the pain of such a loss.
Much has been made of US presidential hopeful Barack Obama's decision to take a break from campaigning this week in order to visit his grandmother. Is it a cynical move on his part? Some would say yes but personally I think it's admirable. Here is someone who has his priorities right. He publically acknowledges the debt he owes to the woman who was instrumental in making him what he is today.
For my part, I only ever knew one of my grandmothers. I was lucky enough to have her in my life for over 30 years. Some say that parents love unconditionally, grandparents do not. Perhaps grandparents are able to take a more objective view of the person that we become. Anyway, I loved my grandmother and she loved me.
I have many happy memories of the woman I called Nan. She told me once that she would have preferred the title Gran as Nan made her think of a nanny goat. I told her that Gran was too old sounding and that she wasn't old. Her reply was that I was 'giving her a load of old flannel', a typical response. I could write a book about her but suffice it to say that for me she was one of the most wonderful women I have ever known. She was to all intents and purposes just an ordinary woman from the East End of London; leaving school with only a basic education, having a series of mundane jobs, marrying and having three children, six grandchildren and four great grandchildren at her time of death. She buried both a daughter and her husband. She lived through the Blitz and coped with two small children on her own when her husband was drafted to 'to his bit' during World War Two. No more or less than many other women in her position. But she was my Nan and she was amazing. My life is all the richer for having her in it, and all the poorer for losing her.
Is Obama using his grandmother to further his political career? No. He's doing the right thing. And if I could have just one more minute with my own grandmother I'd sell my soul to the Devil to get it.