Widower Nancy Stewart, from Clonard, County Meath, penned an insightful note to mark her birthday and help others look forward beyond the pandemic with hope and faith. Indeed, she’s lived through two world wars, financial crashes and the Spanish flu so we’re all ears.
The post was shared on Facebook by her granddaughter and has racked up over 50,000 reshares and thousands of grateful comments. Here’s what the inspiring woman wrote – and it’ll give you the hope you need today…
The world is a pretty bleak place right now but it’s all about looking for light in the darkness, right?
That’s why we really need to bring this thought-provoking letter, penned by Ireland’s oldest woman to mark her 107th birthday, to your attention.
I lost my husband in a car crash in 1989, and lost my twin daughters – Margaret in 2007 to motor neurone and Anne in 2010 to utter heartbreak of losing her sister. I’ve lost all my friends throughout the years which comes with living so long on this earth.
I’m very lucky to still have three daughters, Kathleen, Mary and Olive, and one son Finian, and I have 84 grandchildren, great grandchildren and great great grandchildren.
I have faced many heartbreaking moments and also have seen many hard times in our country witnessing world wars, division in our people and numerous sad times for our nation.’
I write to you today to send you my love and to offer you my prayers. We are in a very difficult time at the moment in our country, in our lives and in our world. But I reach out to you in this letter to offer you hope, faith and belief that everything will be OK in the end.
We are in another stage of this battle against the virus but we will get through this. Like everything I’ve been through since the day I was born in 1913, no matter how bad things have got, I’m the living proof that we can survive and in years to come, this will just be a distant memory.
I have a great faith and it has helped me keep positive throughout the struggles I’ve met. I thank you for keeping your faith and for keeping your resilience strong, through this hard time. Sadly for the moment, we can no longer stretch out to a friend and embrace them nor can we call to each other’s houses.’
I can even video call lots of my family and friends and am making new friends everyday that God gives me on this earth,’ Nancy went on. ‘And that’s a very important thing to say.
If you are feeling low, make sure to try call someone or even go for a walk. I also ask God to help me if I’m feeling low. This is a hard time for everyone but please make sure you keep yourself well and wear your mask. If you keep healthy, your mind will stay healthy too.
We must try to make sure we leave nobody behind and also that we don’t lose sight of each other
This is a moment for humanity to step forward to take care of the other. We must mind ourselves but we must also mind all those around us.
‘No good deed ever goes unnoticed so try your best to keep being good. We are not here to live for ourselves but to live for each other. We must always look forward. I can’t believe I’m the oldest person in Ireland living in my own home, I don’t feel that old.
Nancy went on to thank people for reading her letter and concluded by reassuring people this hard time ‘will pass like all the rest’.
Nancy, we bow down.