Family. I think it’s what grounds you in life, makes you feel connected to something bigger than yourself. When my mom passed away several years after my dad, I remember my sister and I discussing that we felt like orphans. We were grown women, but being parentless made us feel alone in a way that we had never felt before.
Today, my grandmother passed away. She went peacefully in her sleep, which I think is probably the best thing that any of us can hope for after a long, full life. But while the loss isn’t like losing a parent, I again find myself feeling sort of adrift, cut loose from a foundation that I’ve relied on my whole life. Not to mention the family history that went with her. We were looking through some photos today at her house, and they’re filled with people none of us can identify. There’s a sadness in that loss of heritage, and maybe a lesson we should all learn.
But for now, I don’t think I can put too many feelings into words, so I will share with you an older post about Granny, and what may well be my favorite picture of her, though it was only taken last year.
Today, my grandmother, son, and nephew went to a studio to have pictures taken together. They’d done this once before, when the boys were just young children, but time is passing, and it seemed a good time to do it again. Especially since my son is preparing to move across the country to California and may not have the opportunity again to make pictures with his great-grandmother. Of course, one hopes this won’t be the last chance, but as I said, time is passing. So, we went to the photographer’s.
My grandmother—we call her Granny, a title she’s not particularly fond of, but it’s always been the great-grandmother designation in our family—is 92. She’s always loved having her photo taken, especially with her two great-grandsons, who are the light of her life. Between shots, I was playing around with the prop hats and plopped one onto her head, a big flouncy purple hat. It was cute, but when the photographer mentioned she also had a red hat, I knew she had to have a picture in that. After all, isn’t that the epitome of aging women living life—to wear a red hat bravely and brazenly, even if it doesn’t quite match your outfit? Just a couple of snaps of the lens and Granny’s red hat moment was immortalized. We all loved it—just a goofy photo that seemed to take years off her age. Granny said she’d never had a picture taken in a hat before, but now she can check that off the list.
I’m glad we went to the studio today. The group shots will be nice mementos, and we also got some pictures of the boys together and separately—all very good. But what I’ll remember most is the impromptu moment when Granny became a member of the Red Hat Society, even if only for a few seconds. At her age, I think she deserves to join, even if the hat doesn’t quite go.