Saturday, 30 June 2012

On Being Short

I've seen a few bloggers post about loving your body and being happy in your own skin recently - this is a story I tell people who complain about being too short:

During the Second World War, my grandfather William Morris Owen was a desert rat stationed in North Africa. Granddad Bill stood 5'7" in his stockinged feet and hated being so short, I think he got teased for it quite a bit too. Whilst fighting out in North Africa one day, granddad was in a Jeep with four of his fellow soldiers and friends, who were all taller than he was. The jeep came under fire and my granddad's four friends were all shot in the head and killed instantly. The bullet meant for my granddad only skimmed his scalp because he was so short - had he been another inch or so taller he would surely have been dead and would never have met my Nana Alice and had my dad and I wouldn't be here either. My granddad had four months of convalescence and then went straight back to the fighting. He never complained about being short again - it had saved his life.

He never spoke about this incident, or the War at all - I only know this story from my dad, who told me it when I was quite young, I think after I was moaning about being short. After I heard the story, I never moaned about being short again either and if any one made fun of me for it I told them the story and so far no-one's had a comeback for it.

Now I now this is an extreme example, but it made me think of my body in a completely different way and made me proud to be short and honoured to have come from such brave, short stock.

It definitely put things in perspective for me - I might not have the most perfect body or be the fairest of them all, but so what? - chances are it isn't a matter of life or death like it was for granddad Bill, so there are probably more important things to worry about.

Granddad Bill came home from the war, married my Nana Alice, had four children and had a long and happy life, passing away in May 2005, (from 'flu of all things). He is very much missed, as are all my grandparents.

Nikki x

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