You never realise how fast time flies.
I flipped the photo album shut and threw myself back on the bed sheets. It were as if I was losing a part of history, information falling from my hands. Although it strikes me that talking of someone in this way is somewhat disrespectful and subconsciously taxing, I cannot help but feel that I am losing out more so on finding out what was, rather than what could have been. Tales of 50’s life thrilled me, and I had come to love them dearly. In acquiring this new obsession I had learnt a large capacity of things about World War II, thus creating a new area of history for me to adore.She had taught me so much about her way of life, how to behave like a woman, and work around the house.
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It was evident that she had received lessons similar to these, in the way she acted, streaking though her personality traits like gold dust sprinkled on an angel; this now no longer a metaphor. I knew in my heart of hearts that she was now placed on her own cloud (number nine reserved as her cloud of choice, of course) fashionably suited in white from top-to-toe. Early memories of her no longer existed in my mind, but the photographs flooded me with past situations that had filled my heart with joy.It had suddenly seemed ironic that photographs were showing only happy times, waiting to be looked back on in a time of sadness, and yet we would then link them to the solemn times between. We had always taken pictures at Christmas, clinging to tradition in the hope that they would bring us comfort when the rough times came our way. I, myself, owned only a single album, suggesting that I was either very unphotogenic, unable to use a camera or just not particularly happy (with no events to document).This wasn’t true at all, I had been a very content child, even if I had been bullied throughout lower school, it had made me more grateful of things, and perhaps even happier.
I just felt no need for the reassurance of the past tense; usually. This was the first time I could remember myself questioning my beliefs. Growing up in a religious family of Methodists, I had always believed in God, heaven, Jesus. I never thought anything of scientific reasoning of energy continuing in a new form- I believed in the spirit living on. I hated the thought that she would soon be lying 6 feet under, alone, cold, and without her bright smile.So I told myself that questioning my beliefs was deterring my chances of being with her when I, touch wood, died too. Tissues surrounded the bed, and noticing I almost laughed at how clichi?? it all seemed- almost.
I imagined someone hopping through the window and snapping an ariel photograph, photoshopping the image and posting on iconater. com (this would never have happened though, as we are not to take pictures in times of true despair, remember? ). What made me want to laugh more though, was that I had not yet cried a single tear for her. I felt dead inside; I was the one in need of a funeral.Clutching the crumpled paper, I rolled onto my front. The pen was poised on the surface of the blank A4 in front of me. The lack of words was troubling me, the shining bright spaces taunting me as I desperately scoured my mind for an appropriate prose. The funeral was to be held in only two days and I still had nothing to say.
I wanted to spill my feelings out onto the paper, but the thought of others hearing them made my stomach grow tight and my palms sweat. School holidays were supposed to be enjoyable, but then again, Easter holidays were never much fun. Adjusting my skirt to a respectful length, I shot my mother a reassuring smile.She sent me one back, seeing through its false nature. I had finished a poem that morning, which was meant to be recited in the chapel.
The words span through my mind again, retracing steps, just to make them a little deeper, to help me remember. “So now I feel I should let go, I’m giving up the fight, so now, please know I Love You, I Love You and Goodnight. ” I whispered as we piled into the car. The radio was playing softly, humming the worst song it could have at that point. Ain’t No Sunshine filled most of the journey, until my mother wearily hit the radio into a standby mode. The rest of the way was travelled in silence.I had grown up attending Marston Bedford Road Sunday School, every week since the day I could walk.
My mother, and her mother (along with my aunts and uncles, also) had don’t the same as children. Everyone was married in that same chapel too, so it was only right that we should hold my Great Grandmothers’ funeral there. “Joan Kathleen Smith,” Reverend Solice began, pacing around the mahogany pulpit, “was a treasured member of the community. ” He then went on to speak of how she was now entering the Kingdom of God, us helping her along by standing in the freezing cold, singing songs that were written centuries ago.I felt we should be doing more. “We have some readings from the family.
” He stated. “Ashley, why don’t you go first? ” He nodded in Ashley’s direction. “Sure. ” He stated, his voice already faltering.
As he progressed through the poem, he broke down more and more. I had never seen this side of him before. He was the strong one, the one who could cope with things. I told myself that I would not cry, and actually believed myself (even though I was hoping I finally would, I just did not want to in front of these people. ) My cousin, Jordan, then stepped up, reading a poem she had put together.She mentioned how my (Great-) Grandmother would now be with her deceased husband, a thought that brought a weak smile to my lips. I could see him turning up to cloud 9, handsomely dressed in a white tailored suit, taking her hand and waltzing with her.
They danced past the sun, past the moon, past the stars, chiffon trailing behind then as they span. “Emily is now going to read for us a poem that she has composed herself. ” My mind was telling me to stay where I was, that I wasn’t ready for this kind of turmoil, but my heart dragged me forward, before I knew it I was stood before a room of people, most of which were anonymous to me.
My fingers were trembling, and my head was spinning, but I continued none-the-less. I projected the words, feeling I should give it my all, as this was only to happen once. I spoke to the deceased, not the living.
“So now, please know I Love You, I Love You and goodnight. ” By now you could barely understand what I was saying for the tears. I fell back into my front row seat, fairly glad I did not have Ashley’s placing, adjacent with the coffin in the center of the front row. He avoided looking up. “Are you coming down to the churchyard? ” My father asked, monotoned. I, I think I’ll go back to Nan’s. ” I stuttered. My brother and I trundled along the street, back to my Grandmothers home, where she had invited attendants of the funeral for a small gathering with tea and sandwiches, in commemoration of her mother.
The sandwiches were set in rows, decorated with fabric napkins of red and off-white. Entering the living room, I fell onto the sofa and engaged in small talk with my brother. He was just as thrown off as I was. By the end of the evening, everyone’s spirits had lifted, even if only by an inch or two. Our tears had dried, and no fresh ones had fallen yet.We had gone through about seven rounds of tea and the sky’s colour had begun to fade. I smiled as I watched my siblings playing with Ashley’s old toys and friends of my Great Grandmothers gossiping like school girls.
Life was moving on, even if it was going a bit too fast for me. Everything would re align itself soon, we just had to make sure we were there, ready for it to happen. My mother grouped me and my siblings together and led us to the car. She hugged my Grandmother goodbye as she received some words of wisdom (my Grandmother had been through this before, losing her partner and father unexpectedly.The car was started and we set off home again.
It had been over faster than I had thought, and although dreadful, it was not as terrible as I thought it could be. Losing my Great Grandmother was a horrible thing, bringing disastrous emotions, but it had some positive outcome on me as a person. I feel it has enhanced my faith, and my ability to deal with loss. I now know that we are to live life to the full, making the most while we can, as it may be snatched away at any given moment by disease.I treasure my family greatly and appreciate all that they give me, noting advice in my mind for future references. I am now; also, fully grateful for everything she gave me. The interests in fashion and the 50’s were somewhat all derived from old scrapbooks and stories. She taught me that people change, and not always for the better, but we should always keep them dear to our hearts, as one day we may need there help, graciously in return for ours.
I miss her still, but treasure her memory. So, I don’t need the photo albums for reassurance, when I have all I need of her, living with me still.