Tuesday, 12 February 2008


In a month or two ten years ago Mr Doris and I met.

In a month or two nine years ago Mr Doris and I married.

It is poignant to look at the group wedding pictures and to see the faces of those who have passed since then. My paternal grandfather and then an ex-neighbour who was one of those extraordinary characters who faced much drama in her life and gave to so many. Then the elderly matriarch of close family friends whose entire family came to the wedding from the US. Her son has now departed too. And my paternal grandmother passed a few years after her husband - my grandfather.

I remember her telling me the trauma of when finally, my grandfather was going to be taken to hospital. She told me she laid down next to him on their bed knowing this would be the last time they would ever be together. They were both nearly ninety. He died within a couple of days. I had been to visit just a couple of weeks before and he was indeed poorly but he came to the door to see me and the kids off - I took a photo of him standing there in his reduced height but still much taller than I.

My grandmother taught me there was life after death. I thought her heart would break when he died but she kept crying and she kept going on and then she cried less. I admired her so much in those following years. She talked about the past and about the things she had done wrong in her life and apologised about. Things were different back "then" and thank goodness for the freedoms and understanding we have in this day and age.

Back then on my wedding day, my grandmother gave me a very long antique gold chain. It had been given to her by her grandmother. After she gave it to me the rest of the wedding pics has me wearing the chain. A year or two later (after my grandfather died) I was heavily into genealogy and was given an old board photograph from the turn of the century of my grandmother's grandmother and grandfather. Around her neck was a long chain, likely the gold chain of which I am now the guardian.

In a generation's time, god-willing I can give the chain to my granddaughter. Perhaps as an elderly woman on her wedding day.


Thursday said...

Beautifully written Doris, absolutely lovely.

Doris said...

Thanks Thursday! I wrote it after talking to a friend yesterday about a funeral and about a gift in her life. Death and funerals have such a widespread effect on people who don't even know them. Reminding us of our own mortality and the people we have lost in our lives.

Susie said...

Thank you Doris for sharing this wonderful family tale, it bought a tear to my eye, and a few more when I realised that I would be unable to pass the ring onto one of my grandaughters, but I am crying less.


Doris said...

Oh Susie, I am so sorry and I know you know I didn't mean to make it worse.

I was thinking of you today and am sending you hugs right now.

Susie said...

You didn't make it worse Doris - one day a very proud grandmother will give a very memorable gift to her grandaughter on her wedding day, I hope and pray that the tradition continues for generations.

Curly K said...

That is beautiful Doris, what a lovely tradition to have and fantastic to have the proof of the linkage through the generations. Strange how loved ones and their memories come back to us often, even when we least expect it.