Let me share some of the stories she told me.
She remembers women not being allowed into certain areas of Public Houses and remembers not being allowed in at all until she was 21, unlike Men. She had it worse than most as our Great Grandfather, her Father was a Publican and so had every local publican on warning that she wasn't to be served. That was until she was married and then it was acceptable to enter a Public House but only with her husband!
She was widowed and lost a daughter in the same day ,this happened while she was also pregnant aged 40 at the time (considered positively ancient in those days). But she didn't cow tow to societal pressure and simply find someone 'willing' to wed her and take care of her, no no she fought to bring up 3 children alone and do it well.
She helped run a pub (not very common for widowed mum of 3 in those days) and she worked hard for many years, then when they forced her to retire because women' had to' when they reached 'a certain age' , did she bow out like a good little housewife? No she ruddy well didn't she sued the brewery and won! She didn't get her job back which is what she wanted but she stood her ground and made a point! She stood up to be counted and she was part of a movement that changed the way our country treated its working women.
My Nana ROCKED! She rocked at being a Nana, a Mum and a flipping fabulous friend! I miss her so much and even writing this make me cry even though she passed 13 years ago.
But my Nana helped raise me and she helped shape my views without me even realizing it, and one thing she taught me was that it is my duty to vote, it is a privilege and an honour. As cliche as it is 'Women Died for you to be able to vote' was a sentence I heard more than once. A sentence that we are best to remember, as I said last year in a similar thread. It wasn't just women throwing themselves in front of horses, the suffragettes gave up their lives to campaign and march and fight. they were imprisoned, force fed, degraded and ridiculed and they continued their fight so that tomorrow I and women across the UK can stroll into a polling station/tap a few keys on a computer/send a letter and shape the way OUR country is run.
Let's remember too, that there are countries where people aren't allowed to vote because of their gender, religion, education. Places where people don't have a choice.
So this week my #ThankfulThursday is dedicated to all the amazing women in this world who make a difference everyday, to the Mums who stay at home, the Mums who go to work, to Sisters and Friends and Aunties and Nanas to every female who does what she can for those she loves and more beyond. Don't waste the significance of your vote today, stand up and be counted.