I don’t have a first memory of my grandmother, but I do have a back ended catalogue of memories that more than speak to what it is it to know a woman of eminence and timeless substance. These memories, on reflection, have prophetic feminist overtones. She lived in a different time. If she lived today her views would paint the picture of a centred and reconciled person. Her humour however, was timeless.
So many afternoons in my teenage years were spent in her back garden. We nattered away as women but mostly we were in fits of laughter as free thinking individuals and as kindred spirits. Our connection was timeless and the age gap there to attest to its increasing irrelevance, as every year passed. With or without each other breathing in the same snapshot – we had and still have a continuum, that only needed a moment to last as long as any moment I’ve known.
I couldn’t be prouder to have known Helen Grace. Her favourite quip was “I have no regrets’. It’s only recently, after years of not fully understanding what I thought was a sweeping comment, that I finally got the joke.
Having no regrets is not denying everything that is regrettable. It’s making every error or taking every risk to remain true to yourself. True, to the point that nothing is left unsaid, where you have tried every path, if the alternative meant that you didn’t feel like you.
My Grandmother lived and died on her terms. She accepted everyone for who they were and lived as a feminist without judgement. When faced with disadvantage, she saw the opportunity in every struggle. No drama, no fanfare, but the opportunity to grow. I know this was her greatest achievement of many. Like her, it is now my life's work.
This unrepeatable woman handed me both life’s greatest cheat sheet and also, brought its ongoing puzzle into view. Like her, I will pass and whether I reach the lofty heights of her accomplishments, I don’t know. What I do know is because of my grandmother, I’ll certainly go trying.
The thought of so many out there, who have as much to offer us as she did, isolated, breaks my heart. It is also my driving force to see DailyCare's vision into fruition. Our commitment to finding ways to address the challenges people and their loved ones face as they age, in everything we do, is this at work. For me reducing the isolation of ageing in its varying forms, is my personal commitment to the most influential person in my life. It’s also DailyCare’s ongoing commitment to better the ageing journey for our most important cohort and our future selves.
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