Grandma. I think,
I type the word and I see her,
I feel her now.
she was feeling – love.
Grandma equalled love.
All she did
all she was
all she gave
every day
was love

love to her friends
love to her family
to neighbours
to people she never again would see.

they say God is Love.
well, grandma was the closest I have come to finding that same love in a human being


quietly assured
of her own abilities
of God’s love for her
and of her faith

family was paramount
orphaned at eleven
farmed out to an uncharitable
harsh taking uncle
where she was looked down on
the unpaid slave,
the dogsbody
a cinderella

with no remnant or vestige
of her mother
her father
no material possessions which should have been hers,
given to her
split up from brothers and sisters
made an only orphaned outcast
tossed on the rubbish heap
left there to rot
to decay

but she cried
no way!
if its God’s child I am
then He has another plan
and that is where I should go, follow
follow the One who loves me
walk where He beckons

to a new life
a new way
a bright brand new better day

I want to be a nurse
no was the answer
refusal was rejected
denial inevitable
but still she went
the house of servitude
to enter the halls of healing
and love

and there she found her calling
her first calling

to nurse, care for
and heal
to love gently
the unlovable
the sick
the affirmed
the destitute
cast out

sometimes I wonder
if she were here
of a current present generation
would she have answered this call on her life differently?

‘matey’ became her other mother
gave her away
paid for the wedding
on that [family boycotted] day
when she was joined to the one
she was called to be with
for the rest of his days
or hers
whichever came first

she took her second calling seriously
placed in her hands
hands of love and healing as they were
and tendered to
looked after
her man

an enigmatic
high maintenance man
ahead of his time
but that is another yarn
for another time…

she gave of herself
bore him children
two boys consecutively
then two girls
til there were four in all

and Ruth
but her children were more
than those she bore
so many she knew
loved and cared for over years
became hers
learnt her lessons of life
and love
long remembered
never forgotten

her influence spread far
wide and high
the ripple effect of her calling
cannot be denied

and in me she placed such great trust
planted a seed
stored in me such love
so deep
entrusted me with a legacy
which I carry and must pass on to my own
so her legacy will burn in their hearts
as it does mine

© Jan Stead, July 2000


  • Artist
  • Artwork Comments 6

Artist's Description

Like most people, my grandma was a very special lady and an amazing influence and inspiration not only to me but many others not even in her family.
The way she lived her life was an example to be followed, or at least strived for. Her ideals were high, her faith strong and her spirit vital and irrepressable.
Family was all important to her. She lived her life for others with such deep and genuine love, not least for her beloved grandchildren, of which I was fortunate and blessed to be one.
In her later years I would sit at her feet and listen as she spoke softly of riding in horse and buggy up into the mountains or to the beach; of her days of nursing and of days of old.

I hope these words paint a picture of the lady, for I can’t insert a photo.
But there is more to come!

Artwork Comments

  • solareclips~Julie  Alexander
  • Jan Stead JEMproductions
  • Deanna Roberts Think in Pictures
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  • barnsis
  • Jan Stead JEMproductions
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