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B eing cocooned with her beloved Granny Nancy since March is something for which year-old Kildare woman Louise Coghlan will be forever grateful. As I sit on a homely colourful patchwork couch, I hold a tall white mug decorated with pink flowers, the prettiest mug anyone could possess — fit for a queen and without doubt a mug that could only belong to the house I sit in as I write this.
The woman resting her eyes in the armchair across from me is a century and seven years old, shining brightly. The clock ticks loudly in the background along with three other clocks in this room as my gran, Nancy Stewart, takes a few afternoon winks, as she calls them. What a great answer from a woman who has lived on this planet since Can you even begin to imagine what her eyes have seen in her lifetime? Get the best home, property and gardening stories straight to your inbox every Saturday.
Enter address This field is required Up. We are in the latter half of lockdown two here in Ireland as part of the never-ending nightmare of the Covid virus. As for everyone this has been a very unusual, intense time for me.
In a time when the world has been scared and frightened, me and Granny have sat together like two old women passing the time eating, drinking, chatting, baking, praying, singing, napping and my most favourite part, laughing. No, instead we remain warm and cosy inside her little brown door drinking tea and sharing our lives. Photograph by Gerry Mooney.
Granny is hugely content in her home in Clonard, Co Meath where she has lived since the day she married her beloved Bob in Sadly Bob passed away in a car accident as they were going to Mass in the village in AmazinglyGranny has never lost her faith, another aspect of her personal resilience and strength that reminds me that anything is possible when your mindset is in gear. She lost her twin daughters, Margaret in to a long battle with motor neurone disease, and Anne in to utter heartbreak of losing her sister.
On a positive note she is blessed with 84 grandchildren, great-grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren and loves them all dearly. My job was lost early on as I work with the elderly, teaching them how to use their smartphones. The clock continues to tick and the day moves along and Nancy remains peaceful and happy in her big black armchair.
We chat about times gone by, times present and even times ahead. She, like me, is a Libra, and she carries the balanced approach to not only her viewpoint but also her being. She believes in two sides to every story and is faithful to her own motto of never falling out with people. Let them think they are right and then the peace will remain inside you. Life is too short to fall out or be in bad humour. We discuss this regularly ourselvesand she always returns to the same four tips. She believes that not stressing is a huge part of her long life.
two, is she thoroughly believes in and loves good food. She eats three serious meals a day, all at the same times and all made up of the same types of food every week. A good breakfast Weetabix, toast and teaa traditional Irish dinner meat, veg and potatoes and her teatime consumption… wait for it… could all nutritionists please look away now… is a fry five evenings a week.
Yes sausages, puddings and the much-loved fried bread, gobbled down with a big mug of tea of course. She has fish two days a week, and Granny Nancy believes good food is what has stood her so well for years on this planet. Her third tip is more spiritual, more emotional : having a faith and believing in something greater than us down here on earth is very much part of her story. Believing that being good is always the right choice and trying your best to act on that very belief is what she attributes her long life to.
The final tip is friendship and a big mug of tea. No book could light my heart up the way she does. No book could inspire me to find the positive in the world when it really looks quite rocky at times. No book could turn my smile upside down with a glint from her sparkling left eye. No book could place within me a want to be a better me, a want for a better, fairer and kinder world. No book could leave me pushing myself beyond myself to be a better human.
No book could like osmosis share wisdom beyond this world and way back to a time where there were no cars, no computers, no phones and not a lightbulb to be seen. This is all of Nancy Stewart and more. To describe Granny Nancy is way beyond my ability.
To explain the magic she has within her heart and the magic that is within her body. She is my dearly beloved grandmother and best friend. Close Louise Coghlan with her grandmother, year-old Nancy Stewart. Facebook Twitter Whatsapp. Louise Coghlan November 23 AM. Facebook Twitter .
Close Louise and her grandmother Nancy. How to work home alone without losing your mind. Close Louise and Granny share a laugh. Close Granny Nancy with her beloved late husband Bob on their wedding day in Close Granny attributes her long life to good food. Close Granny Nancy bottom right with her mother and siblings. TikTok video shows officer pointing a gun in a Dublin station.
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