My Grandmother, Doreen Martin ( ne Brewin ) was born in India in 1908 , she and all her family lived a wonderful life there, enjoying all the gifts that India had to offer .
She married Christopher Martin who was stationed there In the British Army .
They had 3 children , one of them being my father Christopher Martin .
My father still has memories of his childhood , lots of family gatherings and outings . When India claimed their Independence , many changes were happening In India , and lots of British , and Anglo-Indian families moved back to the United Kingdom , and to further lands to start new lives .
My Grandparents along with their 3 children and other family members emigrated to Australia in 1948 after very long voyage from England. They settled in Concord West and there they remained , my Grandmother stayed in the original family house until 2004 .
Sadly i never got to meet my Grandfather as he passed away in 1963, well before i was born .
My childhood memories were always happy when i was with my Nanna, she often would mention India and how they all had such a wonderful life there , she would talk fondly of her “ayahs ” ( helpers in the home ) , she once told a story about how one of them had written her a letter about how much she was missed and how well they were treated and how they felt that they were part of her family .
As i grew up i was always fascinated with the picture of the Taj Mahal and would always tell my Nanna that one day i would go there and see it for myself .
As my Nanna grew older , she really started to have vivid memories of her life In India , she was looking at some photos one day and was able to recount the actual number plate of one of the cars that was in the photo ,
Nanna collected Elephants , and as she grew older , the more fond of them she became, every birthday ,Christmas or any special occasion , she would be given elephants , she even had elephant birthday cakes .Everyone she knew , knew that she would just love another elephant for her collection .
As my Nanna was growing older . it was becoming apparent that she was going to need more care , and so in 2004 our family decided that so she would get the best care and to be closer to my father , it would be best if she went to an aged care facility.
That was a very hard day for us , but we knew it was for the best and so that she would get nice hot meals and 24 hour care . ( and lots of cups of tea) xx
She didn’t really wont to go , but we packed some of her favorite things and many of her elephants for her to take with her. We thought that she had the best room there , I decided to also place a picture of her beloved Taj Mahal beside her bed , she settled in better than we could have hoped .
As I visited her so much , many conversations became about India , and her life there, it was very clear to me that i needed to give her my promise that one day I too would go and see her India .
My Nanna lived a long life , she lived to see her 100th birthday in 2008 and that was a lovely day , she was surrounded by her family and dear people who had she known.
Her family was all that mattered to her , she had been a widow since 1963 and always was the most happy when her family was around .
She couldn’t believe that she was 100 and what all the fuss was about …….
We all have such wonderful photographs from that special day that will be treasured forever.
All her photos from her childhood and youth have been saved by our family and shared amongst us and we are all so lucky to have them to look back on .
We now all have elephant collections ( that continue to be added to and now that all her collection has been divided up amongst all her family ), the elephant collection of our Nanna continues to grow ……
On Many occasions Nanna would ask me when i was going to India ……but i knew in my heart that I could never leave her whilst she was still alive …….
She passed away peacefully on September 26th 2008 , surrounded by her family ….xxxxx
So in 2009 I decided that it was time to keep my promise and begin to plan for my 1st trip to India .
My own passage to India had begun …..