I am that Blind Man: One Woman's Story (Part IV)

After my wonderful centre-of-attention grandfather died, (I remember one Mother’s Day evening, when Grandma was the focus, that he came out tottering rather comically in my lace up knee high boots, which were then all the rage! Of course he upstaged beautifully and we were all rolling around in fits of laughter), I was to discover that Grandma was a very special lady.

I remember her fondly, lovingly. But as I was growing up, promised myself I would never ever be like her. For she ran around after Grandpa continually, putting him first in everything she did.
She was of a different generation, a different time I told myself.
But she was more than a mere relic. So much more.
When we sat around the huge silky oak dining table to eat, she wouldn’t. At least not until Grandpa, seated at the head of the table, had everything he needed, right down to his tea, which she brewed for precisely the right amount of time in the right and correct way in his ‘silver’ single cup pot and finally, ran under cold water before placing it on the table in front of him.
We always nagged Grandma to sit and eat before her meal went cold. But she never did. Grandpa had to be served first.
She had a soft gentle heart, a servant heart and was full to overflowing with love. Her love emanated from a strong and potent mixture of faith and abandonment.
For her father died when she was about eight and her mother when she was only eleven. Even though her father was a successful businessman in Tamworth, the day after he died, the doors of the business were closed and my great grandmother trained and became a midwife to support her young family. She travelled rough country roads to attend to countless women in labour in their homes over the remaining years of her life, scratching a living but filling their lives with love.
When she died the children were split up and sent to various relatives. My grandmother, Muriel, joined her uncle and his family. They deigned to look after this poor little homeless waif but ensured they extracted due worth from her and absorbed certain pieces of her parent’s furniture into theirs.

Muriel Ellen Parker was something of a Cinderella and her life is not entirely unparalleled. For, having been treated as the poor relative and dogsbody who would naturally assume the role of ‘doing the books’ for her uncle’s business, out of duty and no more, she decided she wanted to become a nurse once her short school days were over.
What horror! Unthinkable!
But she did. She went to Tamworth hospital and began her training under a wonderful kindly woman, the Matron of the hospital, who took Muriel under her wing.


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.


© Jan Stead JEMproductions, 1999

I am that Blind Man: One Woman's Story (Part IV)

  • Artist
  • Artwork Comments 6

Artist's Description

At the end this, the fourth part of this story, I have added the poem ‘Grandma’ (published separately), as this section of Chapter 2 is about my Grandma.

When you read it you will see why I have deliberately chosen to give her a whole section to herself.


Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoy it.

Artwork Comments

  • joshuatree1
  • Jan Stead JEMproductions
  • Bev Woodman
  • Jan Stead JEMproductions
  • C J Lewis
  • Jan Stead JEMproductions
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