My paternal grandmother, Mary Hodges, was just 46 when she died on the 11th June 1970.
Mary was born on 9th April 1924 in Fleur-de-Lis. She was the third child of Edward James Hodges and Norah Hughes. She had 2 brothers and a sister: Oliver Hughes Hodges, Ralph Hodges and a living sister.
On 25th February 1956 she married my grandfather, Ivor Evans in Bedwellty.
Mary and Ivor had 5 children together. 2 boys born in 1958 & 1960 and 3 girls (1963 & twins in 1965)
By June 1970, Mary had died. Breast cancer was the killer.
My father remembers little from his early life but what he does remember brings tears to his eyes.
He remembers his mother as a loving woman, she doted on all 5 of the children and her husband. She was a resillient woman, a fighter, and I imagine her as being strict but very loving.
I don’t know when the breast cancer was caught but my father remembers her last Christmas. The Christmas of 1969 was the last they would share and my father recalls his mother being very ill. Understandably, he never says much but maybe it’s a blessing because even when I think of the Grandmother I never met and the children she wouldn’t see grow up I can’t contain the tears.
My father never talks about life after his mother’s death bitterly because his father gave them the best he could. “Time’s were hard but Dad loved us. He was a special man.” he’s said many times.
My Nanny Evans, as she is known to us that never knew her, left a part of her behind in her husband and children when she died. And although the impact was felt most severly by her husband and children, her death has impacted on our lives as her grandchildren.
I only wish I could have met her.