Sunday, 18 March 2018

A Happy Sad Day

Today is a little bit happy & a little bit sad for me. You see it's a special birthday for my friend Steph from The Quilters Angel ... But it was also my gorgeous Grandma's birthday & this is the first time it's rolled around since we lost her last June, so I'm a bit sad too. She would have been 95 today & what an interesting life she lived!

When Grandma turned 80 we gathered all of our 'mob' from all over Australia for a celebration. It was a wonderful weekend with LOTS of laughter, which is the trademark of all our family gatherings ... I keep telling people I'm the shy quiet one of my family & they'd finally believe me if they witnessed a gathering of the Paten mob! :0P To mark this special birthday, Mum & I designed & made a memory quilt for Grandma. At the time, neither Mum nor I had a good camera, so we had no photos of the quilt, but when we celebrated her birthday with Grandma last year, I was pleased to see her quilt on her bed & took the opportunity to get some pics. They're extra precious to me now & I thought I'd share them with you, along with a bit of Granda's story. This could be a long post ... Chookyblue you might want to grab a cuppa before you start! :0)

Here is Grandma with her memory quilt ... She looked pretty good for 94, don't you think? ...



Each block represented milestones in her life. The first was the house where she grew up ...



Grandma was the youngest child born to immigrant parents ... Her father came out from Germany & her Mother from England. (I still have the tin travel trunk Granny brought with her. It is one if my treasures!) Grandma's Father was killed in a tree felling accident when she was young & her very strong-willed Mother took over running the farm ... & all who lived & worked there! :0) This was in the 1920's & the farm was at a little place between Mackay & Serina called Munburra. 

When Grandma left school, she began her nurse's training in Mackay. It was during this time that one of her friends introduced her to her brother, a handsome young bloke in a uniform (this was during the war years of the 1940's).



Young Edward Paten (perhaps more widely known by friends & acquaintances as 'Teddy Bloody Paten'! :0) ) asked the pretty young nurse to write to him & that was the start of their romance.



I love this wedding photo ... Don't they look young? :0) Soon they had two children ... My Mum & her brother Gre & life was rolling along fairly smoothly & Gramps was working for the railway. Then doctors discovered that Grandma had TB & didn't expect her to survive. The family was divided for a time. Mum & her brother lived with Granny on the farm at Munburra, then each with a different aunt in Mackay, while Grandma was in the TB sanatorium near Rockhampton & Gramps moved there to be close to her. Against all odds, Grandma survived & recovered & the family was reunited, living in Bundaberg for a time & back in Mackay ...


I think this represented their home in Loyd St ... Do you see the stork visiting? :0) Mum's brother Russell & sister Kerry completed the family.



Another of my favourite photos in the centre. :0) Greg loved surfing, Kerry learned a number of different dance styles, Mum was a marching girl & Russell played hockey. Grandma & Gramps later moved to Emerald where they managed the local pool


Yes, that's me in the tube & floaties aged about 3 or 4 with Kerry keeping me out of trouble ... Or trying to. :0) After all their chicks had flown the nest.Grandma & Gramps retired to a quiet little beach between Rockhampton & Mackay, Clairview Beach ...



Both Grandma & Gramps made wonderful friends, played competitive lawn bowls & Gramps spent a lot of time fishing. I have very fond memories of school holidays at Clairview & huge family Christmas gatherings in Gramps' shed. (Incidentally, Gramps had a big sign up in his shed that said, "Welcome To Buggery" cos he said when Grandma got annoyed with him & told him to go to Buggery, he went to his shed ... Sooooooo ... ! :0) ) When Gramps' health deteriorated & they felt they needed to be closer to medical facilities & family, they moved to Bargara near Bundaberg to Carlyle Gardens retirement village where they made many wonderful friends.


After losing Gramps less than a year after they celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary, Grandma's friends at Carlyle encouraged her to get out & about, with many lunches at the tavern, trips to the 'piccies' & bus trips filling her diary. We used to joke that we had to make an appointment to ring her to catch her at home. :0) But she always loved to hear from family, even though her seven grandchildren were scattered all around Australia ...



The two in the Northern Territory in this pic are now in VIC & ACT. Our family does get around. :0)

So ... Even though I'm missing Grandma terribly today, looking at the quilt & the adventurous life it represents, I know she really did squeeze the most out of her 94 years that she possibly could & she would want all of her 'mob' to do the same. So tonight when we have a wee drinkie after we finish gardening (a pastime we shared) I'll be raising my glass in tribute to a wonderful, adventurous, strong, resourceful, humorous & loving woman, my Grandma, Edna May Paten. Happy Birthday Grandma. We sure do miss you.


I f you've stuck with me through the whole post, Thanks! :0) It just seemed like the right time to share Grandma's story. 

Til Next time ...

BEAR HUGS!

CHEERS!
KRIS









6 comments:

Chookyblue...... said...

great memories..........

Maria said...

Such a beautiful post .

sunny said...

What a lovely post, and a wonderful tribute.

Sharmayne said...

I think it was a lovely story and how wonderful to have that quilt with those memories! My gran died when she was 92, a number of years ago now but she was my best friend when our children were young and I miss her still! My hope, as is yours no doubt - to be a grandmother like the one we had xo

Christine M said...

What a beautiful post, Kris. Thank you for sharing your Grandma's story with us.

Janice said...

Thanks for sharing. It is a delightful story of a wonderful woman.

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