It's rare I publish an evening post, especially on a Monday but there's something about this particular Monday.
It's been such a beautiful day – intermittent sun and snow, mother
nature laying a blanket of sparkle and shine across the fields and hills
that are the view from my office window.
Today felt a good day from the moment I woke, then my Mum reminded me
it was two years ago today that my lovely Grandma Edna passed away.
And that's when I felt it – that bitter sweet sensation, part elation,
part indescribable grief – that follows when you arrive on the scene to
realise your beloved Grandma's spirit has flown just moments before -
warm but lifeless, discoloured and exhausted looking from days of
struggling to breath, yet calm, at peace, beautiful in her stillness.
I remember looking up to the ceiling as we arrived on the hospital
ward only minutes too late – as if Angels and birds were flying around
in circles above – it was the strangest sensation and brought with it a
deep sense of serenity. I felt that serenity again today. Perhaps
Grandma's spirit had come to visit.
C.Early 1940s – with thanks to Mary Cyrus for photo-retouching
Grandma was the kindest, sweetest person I knew. A tiny lady of
slight frame who used to somehow tip toe so quietly around the house
and up the stairs I remember thinking it was almost as though she was
hovering just above the carpet. I remember thinking when I was very
very little that she had magic feet!
I loved how she used to let me play dress up at her house. There was
this one pair of old shoes I adored of hers, cream sling-backs – they
made just the right heel to floor click sound that made me feel all ever
so grown up as my six year old self, stomping around on her tiled
kitchen floor and the patio outside making as loud a noise as I could.
I thought of my Grandma often when writing my book.
I thought of how proud she'd be and how she'd love showing her
friends. But it wasn't until I came to research the wartime era for my
1940s chapter that I realised how much she'd been through, living
through that period and getting married during the war. I actually found
it a very emotional experience. More than anything, it made me realise
just how incredibly lucky we are today – most of us anyway – to have the
choices that we have to plan our weddings. For many during the
wartime, weddings were very hastily planned events, often organised at
very short notice – 48 hours even, to take place when an officer was on
leave – only for the newly wed bride to spend the next several months
worrying if she'd actually ever see her husband again. Of course, many
didn't. And my Grandparents were lucky enough to enjoy a 70 year
marriage in the end.
It didn't feel right to not mark Grandma's passing somehow today and
so I wanted to write a few words in her memory this evening.
My Grandma Edna and Grandpa Norman on their wedding day, 21st November 1942
Image taken from Style Me Vintage: Weddings
As I drove to collect my eldest from School earlier today, I found
myself talking out loud to Grandma. I was telling her that I was sorry
she didn't get to see me book and enjoy it, but that I was so grateful
to her for inspiring me in my book writing adventures. I felt tears
welling – just a few, but beat them back with a smile as I recalled how
Grandma used to walk us in to town, a pretty chiffon headscarf (she had
many) tied neatly beneath her chin to keep her perm in place, her pink
lipstick applied with absolute perfection and her little tartan shopping
trolley in tow to keep the groceries safe on the way back.
Grandma was an avid fan of Mills & Boon books and I remember her
taking my Sister and I to the library when we were young to take out up
to 4 or 5 Mills & Boon at a time, which she'd devour within a couple
of days. She read so many Mills & Boon books that she lost track
of which ones she read – she'd mark them with little dot in blue biro at
the back of the book to reminder herself if she'd read the book or not.
I remember falling about in fits of laughter when she told me this -
she laughed too, so did my Sister. We laughed a lot about Grandma and
her ferocious appetite for silly, soppy stories of romance and saucy
Mills & Boon – Image Source
It's funny such stories which mean next to nothing at the time they
are happening, end up becoming such treasured memories in later life.
Grandma, I hope if you did visit today, you'll have gathered from the
open copy I left on my desk, that I have dedicated my book to you. You
were and always will be the most beautiful bride.
I love you Grandma,
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