I haven’t written in a while, for many reasons one being that April 5th – 12th 2017 will forever etched in my heart. Eileen Meta O’Leary – my Nan went on to be with Jesus in eternity, and when someone whom you love so dearly goes, a piece of you goes with them.
She was generous, industrious and her legacy is beyond one I can’t even describe. It’s funny because I had no idea what a living legend I was blessed enough to have as Nan – until she went. This is the most transparent I think I’ve been about my Nan’s passing, and even typing this tears come to my eyes BUT though I am sad, I am also happy.
You see, my Nan wasn’t your average woman, some could say she could be perceived as having a hard outer shell, if you didn’t know her. But how can someone with a hard outer shell give such wet kisses and the best hugs a Granddaughter could ask for?
Life wasn’t easy for her and she married into an interracial relationship with many controversies in the 60’s – both internal and external but yet, with the lioness heart she had – she stood up for what she believed and walked boldly in her convictions. She said what needed be said; when it needed to be said and then would swiftly move on with her day. My Nan’s mantra was ‘sod em ‘ – aka, she wasn’t afraid of people and didn’t live her life in accordance to people’s opinions.
My Nan was a living example of forgiveness – she NEVER held a grudge in her heart and no matter how bad you were towards her, she cared enough to ensure you were fed, clothed & your wellbeing was good – she never held it against you.
My fondest memory of my Nan is when I was going through a very tough time, I had gone through a severe heartbreak and she came down for a few days to stay with me. I opened up my heart to her about how low I was feeling and she put her arm around me, welled up and said ‘come on, now don’t you be silly. You’re going to be alright’ and once again she was right. She wasn’t hard on me, didn’t condemn me for feeling the way I felt but lovingly steered me back in the right direction. When she’d come to stay with me when I was younger when my Mum would go away, we’d have a blast or she’d call and say ‘make sure you water those plants Elisha, because you know what your Mother’s like’ lol.
Grief and loss are hard, however they are also a part of life – yet as a believer in Christ this one experience has invited me to know Him more deeply than EVER before. I now KNOW that peace that surpasses all understanding (Philippians 4:6-7), that peace that keeps YOU standing even when you want to fall apart, the peace that allows you to sleep even when you heart is breaking – THAT peace, I wouldn’t trade it for the world.
The scripture that spoke to me so beautifully during this time is 1 Thessalonians 4:13:
13 Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death, so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope. 14 For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him.
In my personal opinion, my Nan embodies the Proverbs 31 woman – that woman that many of us strive to be, but it really is something that you live out naturally by taking your eyes of yourself and living for the good of others.
With my Nan’s physical presence not here, yes it’s very hard and there are continued good days & bad days, and as a family we have to learn to live without her on this earth – but during her funeral there were times I would sit back and observe say to myself – all this for my Nan? And it was then I realised she really was the original
No Ordinary Woman.
Love EML xx