It is now 5 years, almost to the day, that my Nan died.
It was the first time that I’d lost someone that I felt really close to and is something I’ve still no quite got over. I don’t think anyone ever does. Relatives had died before but they were mostly distant relatives or I had been too young to really understand. So I was 23 before I really lost someone.
She was a formidable woman, never scared of standing up to people and never prepared to just accept her lot in life. She did everything that women were simply not expected to do. She tried to become an accountant, she drank in pubs, she watched football from the North Bank at Arsenal, she worked in a factory, she joined the fire brigade. She was truly inspirational. It was her that gave me the attitude of “why the hell not?” when people have told me that something couldn’t be done.
She was also one of my closest friends and I still miss her like crazy. I’ve even found myself shopping for Christmas cards for her (I’ve always been crap with birthdays!), almost forgetting she’s gone, such is the impression she left on my life.
She was a Cub leader in her younger years as well, maybe not as totally immersed in it as her grandson is, but she still got stuck into it and she would have been delighted to see the centenary year and how much is going on. So this weekend, when we’re at centenary camp, I shall say a little prayer for her.
Eleanor “Dorris” Burt
I still miss you Nan.