Sweet Cicely


The plant Sweet Cicely, is a central European plant mainly, so those of you over the pond will have to bear with me and use your imaginations.

It's often found in wild settings, sometimes along the sides of roads or in cottage gardens. I've never had a cottage garden, but I'm sure if I ever did I will plant some.

"This old cottage garden perennial was traditionally grown near the kitchen door, where its prettily divided fern-like leaves were at hand for sweetening tart fruit. It is airy and graceful in appearance, and yet able to shrug off cold weather and start to grow right at the end of winter. The flowers open early in the year too, and are some of the first available for nectar-loving insects. Cutting down the exhausted flower stems encourages more young growth, but they may be left to ripen the seeds which are used whole in fruit dishes or ground as a spice."
From BBC Gardening

As beautiful as the plant is though, whenever I think of Cicely, it's not the plant I think of but my nan. My father's mother.

A nan squidge! (Yes, I did have very big glasses and a tie dye shellsuit...what of it?)
 Every Sunday afternoon after lunch we used to go over to nan's house where she'd have that week's instalment of the comics (Beano, Dandy and Bunty) ready for us with a glass of orange fizzy pop.

Us outside my nan's house, I think my younger sister is taking the photo. 
I used to dress as eclectically as possible although I thought I looked cool. That tomato red handbag *swoon*

Sometimes she'd come over on her scooter to our house and sit in tents and play with us. Sometimes I think she enjoyed it more than we did.

If there's one thing for certain, Nanny Cross was a leather jacket wearing, tree climbing, cubby hole hiding, pocket money giving, really rather naughty but cool nan!

And this morning she passed away.

I won't even tell you what she was doing here, it was naughty!!
My sweet Cicely had a stroke the day before my dad's wedding in May this year and although she saw some small improvement between then and a few weeks ago, she never really recovered. We went to see her a few weeks ago, we drove the 4.5 hours there, stopped with her for an hour and then drove the 4.5 hours home in one day. She squeezed our hands, flickered her eyes open and she knew we were there. We whispered sweets in her ear, telling her how beautiful she is and had always been, how she'd been the best grandmother we could have had and that God was with her.

Last night came the phone call that she was not likely to last the night, her breathing was very shallow, there was little eye movement and she was nearing the end of her time on earth with us.

Although we'd been warned and prepared it was like a shot through the heart. We prayed as soon as we got the call that God would send his angels to be visibly present with her, that they would guide her through the process of going to Heaven and that she wouldn't be scared. My nan was a Christian, she trusted God and she knew where she was going, now we wanted to make that as peaceful as possible. I emailed only one friend to ask for prayers of comfort and support.

Generally Dus and I are very private people, we're not likely to tell anyone on facebook, we're unlikely to discuss with anyone outside of the family, but I knew I needed support and the one friend I emailed responded so perfectly that I felt shored up by her love and her prayers. Bearing in mind this is a lady I've never met, she lives in Florida and yet she was so willing to offer me the comfort I needed. Thank you Tammie.

My dad drove down to Luton after his shift at work finished and arrived at about 2am. Sweet, sweet Cicely Cross passed away just after 7am.

Soon it will be time to say our goodbyes, to make the 4.5 hour trip again to be by her side as we celebrate the life she had, all that she means to us and the love that we have for her. Until then, your prayers of comfort and peace would be appreciated for my dad, my Auntie Sue (she hates being called Auntie Sue!), my Uncle Peter and my Uncle Bob.

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  1. I'm so very sorry to hear of your loss. I will keep you and your family in my prayers in the coming days and weeks.

  2. What a wonderful tribute to your grandmother. You are a very sweet girl and she was truly blessed. God bless you and your family as you pass through this time. He is Faithful. Thank you for sharing.

  3. I did not realize Cicely was a plant. And the description you give of the Cicely plant matches so much of what you say about your Nan. I know you will miss her and I will continue to pray for you daily my dear friend.

  4. My thoughts are with you. Such a lovely tribute to your much loved grrandmother. May she rest with the angels.

  5. I'm so sorry to hear of your loss and will keep you and your family in my prayers. I lost my gran nearly 21 years ago 5 weeks before my son was born. For one whole year I cried for her loss, as time went by I thought of her everyday and still do. It takes time to recover from the loss of a loved one but you'll get there. You have wonderful memories to look back on.

  6. My prayers will be with you and your family. This was such a lovely way to honor your grandmother. May your memories of your grandmother cover and cuddle you like a favorite quilt whenever you need them...


  7. Really sorry to read about your nan *hugs* She sounds like a fantastic lady and it's wonderful that you have those memories of her. My thoughts are with you and your family.

  8. It is obvious that your Nan was a very special person who was much loved and will be greatly missed. May you and your family be comforted as you grieve her loss.

  9. Your Nan would be very proud of you (((((Sammy)))))) , with such a beautiful tribute you have written about your her. Cherish those special memories, keeping her close to your heart. Sending lots of love and hugs your way xxx


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