Tuesday, 7 March 2017

In memory of Granny 1920-2017

Last month we said goodbye to our dear Granny Peg.

Born on 22nd April 1920, Margaret Eileen 'Peg' Brunt left behind her loving family and friends at the tender age of 96 - including her husband Bill, to whom she had been married the best part of 70 years {they would have celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary on 29th March this year}.

Bill and Peg Brunt Married 29th March 1947
What can I tell you about our Granny?  I can tell you that she was generous, caring, kind, funny, patient and loyal - devoted to her family, friends and to her faith in God.  She was a talented needle worker,  often wearing homemade dresses and loved going out shopping and for dinner, enjoying the odd glass of Merlot or her evening tipple of Baileys.  She took pride in her appearance but was never vain and lived life to the full even into her 90's.  She was a teacher during the second world war and always had a passion for education.  She was a blessing to so many lives, not least my own.  

My earliest memories of Granny were visiting their house in Colchester, sitting at her vanity table curiously playing with her brush, mirror and powder puff.  Later we’d visit their bungalow in Swinehead, Lincolnshire running excitedly past the big bay window to open arms and Granny’s beaming smile.  Granny always went to bed with a head full of rollers and would show me her false teeth – something I was fascinated with!  We’d wake up to her in the kitchen making everyone a three course breakfast.  I’d play pop goes the weasel on the stool in her kitchen and she’d bounce me on her knee along to ride a cock horse.  

We’d go on family holidays to Cornwall and visit Flambards Amusement Park – Granny would come on all the rides with us!  We’d go fishing with Grandad with a huge picnic and she’d drop everything to run half way around the lake to help him net a fish.  She’d make her famous chocolate mint slices and Grandad would give me 50p if I finished all my dinner at the local restaurant, which I never did as I was always too full up on soup, but he’d give it to me anyway with a little encouragement from Granny.  She delighted in reminding me of the time I said “all dork” when she took me into a dark pantomime to pick up my older brother and sister, something I now say to my boys.  

When I was little I always wanted to be a Granny when I grew up because I had the best role model.  She was such a huge part of our lives and is ingrained in so many happy childhood memories.  

Celebrating my wedding in April 2013
Shortly before she was taken ill I asked Granny if she would start writing down her memories, mainly as a keepsake for my boys.  She left me a notebook for which I am now so thankful for.  I now treasure these memories and insight into her life I may not otherwise have known about.  For now they are still too raw to read fully but I look forward to sharing them with our family in time.  

One extract I particularly love reads:

“I was at the time teaching at Canterbury Road School in Colchester – only for a short time as I fell pregnant very quickly.  Jill was born in February 1948 and Jeremy in July 1949 and Bill and I enjoyed being parents.  I remember one occasion when I said to him “I breathe a sigh of relief when they are tucked up in bed”.  Bill’s work meant that he didn’t see much of them, however a little later I was out for the evening and he took over.  When I got home he said “I know just what you mean”."

I first read this from the point of view of her being relieved they were safely tucked up in bed but then I thought or maybe she was relieved, as with many parents, because young children can be such hard work!!  Either way I just hope that I can live up to being half the Mother and Grandmother she was.  

To say good bye to a loved one is one of the hardest challenges life brings but we have been so blessed and forever thankful to have been lucky enough to call her Granny.  

Margaret Eileen Brunt
22nd April 1929 - 11th February 2017

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