Saturday, July 16, 2011

Gone But Not Forgotten

This past week marked the end of an era.  The last of my Granny's siblings passed away.

My Granny (Sarah - or Sally as she was most often referred to as - Robertson) was born in 1914, on the second anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic.  She grew up and began her own family around Greenock, Scotland in a large family.  Her sister Agnes, born in 1920, passed away this week in Scotland.  All of Agnes' brothers and sisters, my Granny included, all passed away over the years.

When my mother was young, her family migrated to Canada to begin a new life, as did other members of the family, primarily from my Granda's side.  I have fond memories as a small child of visits from "The Aunties" from Scotland.  Aunties Bessie, Jean, and Agnes all made trips across to Canada during my childhood.  Even some other members of their own families ventured over, giving me the opportunity to meet some other family I'd barely heard of, yet who were near enough to my age.

Sometime after university, before married life, I had an amazing opportunity to be able to travel with my Mom to Scotland (to the "land of her birth", as she fondly called it).  I brought her "home" in the mid-1990s for the first time since she left as a small child.  Significant in this was that we arrived overseas on her birthday!  While there, we reunited with so many of the family members we'd met through the years who had journeyed to Canada.  I met even more family who I'd never met before.  It was a wonderful experience.  Auntie Jean and her husband, Uncle Tommy (since we left has passed on), and Auntie Agnes were there.  The two remaining sisters.  I loved the experience and I loved sharing it with my mother.  Even now, I can honestly say I would love to return for a visit one day.

The Robertson Sisters
Jean, Agnes, Sarah (my Granny), and Bessie
I didn't know Auntie Agnes as well as her family in Scotland would have known her.  But she was still family. I am saddened that this generation of the family may have come to an end (unless there's someone out there I'm not aware of!).  I am very richly blessed to have known many members of this generation and many members of their families.  All had a hand in shaping and molding the family from which I come, and in turn helped shaped who I am today.  Very blessed indeed.  I am also grateful for the modern technology and social networking sites available which have allowed me to keep in contact with family far and wide.

My sincerest condolences to Auntie Agnes' family in Scotland on their loss.


A Scottish Blessing

May the blessing of light be on you
Light without and light within.
May the blessed sunlight shine on you like a great peat fire,
So that stranger and friend may come and warm himself at it.
And may light shine out of the two eyes of you, 
Like a candle set in the window of a house,
Bidding the wanderer come in out of the storm.


May the blessing of the rain be on you,
May it beat upon your Spirit
And wash it fair and clean,
And leave there a shining pool where the blue of Heaven shines,
And sometimes a star.


May the blessing of the earth be on you,
Soft under your feet as you pass along the roads,
Soft under you as you lie out on it, tired at the end of day;
And may it rest easy over you when, at last, you lie out under it.
May it rest so lightly over you
That your soul may be out from under it quickly;
Up and off and on its way to God.
And now may the Lord bless you, and bless you kindly.

Amen.

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