Extract from Stand and Keep Standing

A true story of how God brought the author through rejection, hurt and brokenness. How God taught her to stand and keep standing on His word and promise until there was breakthrough.

“A parent’s affection shapes their children’s lives. Mine lacked affection from my Mum. My dad on the other hand, was more placid, everyone loved my dad. Everywhere we went, someone would call out to him. He was much more easy going. He worked on the railway and was also a chimney sweep. It ran in his family.

His dad was a chimney sweep, and when he went away in the First World War, his wife, my Gran took the role over from him. She did not want to give it back when he returned, so she carried on. She was well known as a female sweep; her name was Rosie ‘Sooty’ Forster. She had eleven children, nine girls and two boys. I have a photo of her going off to clean a chimney and she gave birth to my Auntie the next day. Her picture was displayed in the Imperial War Museum for a while as she was a female chimney sweep during the war.

My dad and his brother took on the same role. Sometimes, when my dad had to go and clean a chimney, I went with him to tell him when the brush had gone out through the chimney. He had a push bike with his homemade wheelbarrow on the back where he carried all the chimney brushes and lots of soot.

I had his attention and love, but I never felt that with my Mum. When I was young, I used to keep coughing to pretend I was ill, but it didn’t make any difference.”

Written by Gail Grimshaw

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