On this International Woman’s Day a little tribute to a special woman in my life. Granny Gibson.
Born Elizabeth Herdman, in the mid 1890s, you will win no prizes for guessing she was a farmers daughter.
The farm called The Crow’s Nest is in the heart of County Down in the town land of Magerally. Today it is run by her great great nephew.
Lizzy, as she was known to all was the eldest daughter in the family. She fell in love with Johnny Gibson and loved him with her heart and soul every day of her life.
They married when Lizzy was only eighteen and had their first child, a son, just before the First World War. Johnny went off to France but must have been back in Ireland a few times because they had another two boys before the war was over and a baby girl to welcome Johnny home on Christmas Eve 1918.
In 1920 my Mum was born and they had a pause for seven years until the next three children arrived just before Johnny left again for another war.
Each of her children loved her beyond measure. She was simply a wonderful mother. They had a fairly good life while the kids were young with a small holding and Johnny working a job as well. Those were tough times though with the depression and Lizzy didn’t always have it easy.
Johnny died young at just 54 but by then Lizzy had grandchildren around her feet too. She went on to have 23 in all!
Her influence on us was to teach us kindness. Never once in the 19 years I shared with her did I ever hear her say a nasty word about anyone.
She did the rounds of ever one of her children’s home and cuddled into bed and slept with the youngest child or children. She did snore a bit but she was so snuggly.
Her face was round and soft and her voice was sweet and gentle although she would raise it on occasions if you happened to get naughty.
Her pleasures were her family, her bible, tea, buns, rice pudding and her flowers.
She was particularly gifted with Christmas Cactus, Geramiums and of course her BizzieLizzies. Her little flat was coming down with pots in every corner and at every window. She took such joy in sharing making little slips of her plants to send out like disciples to other homes.
Granny could calm ever storm and hug away every danger. A great lady whose demeanor defied her power and strength!
Blessing # 271 – A gentlewoman