Thursday, 29 January 2015

Thankful Thursday - A Member of My Family

I am reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and, I am persuaded, now lives in you also. 
(2 Timothy 1:5 NIVUK)

My Nana and me

My Nana passed away nearly 12 years ago. She was a feisty woman. Strong, tenacious, awe-inspiring. A real Catholic Matriarch. And I was quite scared of her! She cared deeply about all her children and grandchildren and great grandchildren - of which there are many! She made horrendous porridge, but she had a great collection of musicals on video. I first saw The King and I sat on Nana's lounge floor. And we loved discovering glow in the dark rosaries in the bedrooms. She had a 3D picture of the Pope, which I loved to look at. 

But most importantly to me, she was a woman of great faith. I am so grateful for the things I've learnt through her. I believe she covered the whole family in a great deal of prayer - something that is missing - to an extent - from our lives now. I pray one day that I will be as powerful a prayer warrior as she was. At her funeral I found out stories about Nana that have had a great influence on me since...
...My grandfather died when my Dad was just 10, leaving Nana with 8 children to care for. They weren't well off, and yet she was constant in her efforts to care for those in her community who were in need. She was incredibly generous - a trait that was passed down to my Dad, and I hope can be found in me.

...She went to Lourdes every year to care for the sick and elderly pilgrims, and,in order to afford the cost, she put spare coins in a jar whenever she had them. Every year - without actively saving up - she had enough to go. Even the year when her handbag was stolen on the way to the bank! I was struck by the Trust in this story. I'm grateful for this account because it has inspired me to trust in God far more than I used to.

Just two of the stories about my Nana that have inspired me in my journey of faith. I'm profoundly grateful for her and her influence, and I still miss her, scared though I was of her. She left a great legacy of faith, and I am sure she continues to pray for us all still. I pray that I will have such a profound influence and such a great faith.

"But let me ask you: Do you listen to your grandparents? Do you open your hearts to the memories that your grandparents pass on? Grandparents are like the wisdom of the family, they are the wisdom of a people. And a people that doesn't listen to grandparents is one that dies! Listen to your grandparents. [...] Like the Holy Family of Nazareth, every family is part of the history of a people; it cannot exist without the generations who have gone before it. Therefore, today we have grandparents and children. The children learn from their grandparents, from the previous generation." 
Pope Francis

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