My heart is a little heavy this week as my family have just lost a most precious member. Just a few months ago we lost my dearest Great Uncle Bill, and this week, his wife of 70 years, my Great Aunt Grace, followed him. In a truly bittersweet sense, I don’t think she could bear to live without him and so it is only just that they died so closely in time to each other. I barely knew my beautiful, maternal Grandmother, Rita as she died when I was just 3 years old and so her sister Grace, who lived nearby as I grew up, was a surrogate Granny to me, I will greatly miss having her in my life.
I adore looking at old photographs of my family, it’s so funny when someone has been present your whole life, but to you they have always been older, to see them young and eager and in love, to see them as you never knew them, how others still remember them, it’s magical. My friends who I have known since we were all young, they always look like their young selves to me regardless of how aged they become. I love seeing photos of my Mum and Dad when they were, what looks to me like, the coolest couple on the Earth, before they were parents, before I knew them. To see people you have always seen as older in their most beautiful prime kinda shows you the real them, them as they see themselves and how they want to always be seen. I’m not saying that beauty only exists in youth, heaven forbid that I could be so crude, but I do love beauty, and there is a certain age in life when you are at your most beautiful. I would be so bold as to say that age is around 25-35 years old……
My Dad takes photos, he always has and so I grew up with family photos all over the walls of our house, but it’s really only as you get a bit older and actually take time to sit and look at old photos of the generations before you that you really get a true sense of where you come from, why you look the way you do and why you are the way you are. It’s fascinating and very very lovely!
Because my wee Glaswegian Granny died way too young, I have no memory of actually being with her which breaks my heart, but I’ve grown up with stories of her and have always been told I get my style and love of glamour, and possibly my vanity, from her. I LOVE looking at Granny’s clothes in old pictures, in this photo above she looks so utterly chic, her accessorising works a charm! I really wish I had just a few of the clothes from the 40’s and 50’s that my Granny or Grace wore, but alas, gut wrenchingly, none of it seems to have survived.
My Gramps is 90 this year, he’s only just starting to show some ailments from a long life but he continues to be the most legendary and stealth man I have ever known, long may he continue. I often wonder how he has managed to live such a large part of his life as a widower, without the love of his life, I just adore the old photos of himself he sent to my Granny whilst he was away in the RAF.
These beautiful ladies are such an important piece of me, their glamour, wit, independence, strength, love, and their perfect dress sense will stay in my heart always. Grace lived in the same house since the 1950’s and I loved the fact it was like walking into that era whenever we visited, she always had boiled sweets in a glass bowl on the table and always had a big tin of freshly made shortbread ready to offer. These ladies had well lived and well loved lives and in missing them greatly, I also carry great pride that they are part of my story. When we bid Grace farewell, as an ode to both her and my Granny, I shall ensure that I accessorize my funeral dress to perfection!