This lovely card was in my letterbox when I got home yesterday. Beautiful browns and creams and lots of layers. This came from firstname.lastname@example.org, all the way from Kerrville Jayes I think (difficult to decipher). I can’t get this address to work so I might have misread it.
I had spent the day helping my mother go through and pack up lots of old family letters and all sorts of bits of lace, feathers and other personal effects. So many stories tied up in bundles and waiting to be told. There were letters between my grandfather and grandmother while they were waiting for their marriage, and the company he worked for were building them a house to live in out in the, then, distant country.
It was so touching. I never got to meet my grandfather on that side, he died when Mum was 6, and I only knew her mother as a widow who had lived through difficult times and was pretty tough. The letters changed my feelings towards her and Gave me a completely different perspective. I always loved her, but often wondered about the things my family said about her and why there were some hard feelings about her choices and needs.
As a grandchild your relationship is so different, no history, not the same responsibilities as a parent, and more holiday times together, often just the two of you. I had a lot of fun with her. I got to explore her old things, go through her books, hear her stories, and watch her cook on a gas stove with the old valve radio playing in the background. I knew she loved the horse races, and had several tweed suits, and various hats she wore. She kept a huge vege garden for a lot of her life, and raspberry canes… so many lovely memories.
As she aged things got more difficult for her and things were hard for my mother and uncle as she needed more looking after and became rather demanding. Her funeral was awful. The vicar didn’t even get her name right and his presentation of her life pretty harsh. It was shattering for me, and I have struggled with the difference in my perception of her and that presented. These letters have lifted that, I had a glimpse of her as a young woman and how happy they were. She must have been so sad and maybe angry at being left behind with a young family in a world that was not easy for a woman alone.
This ‘Be Kind’ postcard was a lovely end to my day. I am a kind person, and I had been struggling with all those memories as we went through Mum’s old treasures. It was a prompt to just breathe, release the confusion, and just accept the differences whilst embracing the love I had for my Grandmother and my memories. Great timing.