Vintage Goodies: Grandma Lovin’

***

Grandma’s are moms with lots of frosting.

-Unknown

One of my very favourite people in the world is my beautiful grandma, Bernadette.  She’s 82 years young, every sweet cliché you can think of, and a rockin’ cool chick to boot. She is a miraculous ball of contradiction who’s always held a very special place in my heart.

My grandma, Bernadette

I mentioned my grandma a little while back in a tributary Daily Shot for her birthday (here) and though I’d originally planned to do a fuller post about her in the week following, Fate had other plans. My darling Grandma took a hard fall and broke her hip. Everyone collectively held their breath and murmured prayers as well wishes spilled over, in tidal waves, at the hospital. She had her major surgery and made her way, tentatively, toward recovery.

And recover she did! Two weeks after falling, Ms. Bernadette, was discharged and sent home to recuperate fully, get in some hardcore physio and return to her usual glowing, glorious self.

Grandma in her garden, tending the flowers.

Sadly, the day after she returned home, her eldest son, my Uncle Jim, very suddenly passed away.  I posted here about it, briefly (Perhaps They Are Not Stars and There is always hope…)  while my family came to grips with what can only be described as a tragic, senseless parting.

As everyone struggled to cope, we all quietly worried how my grandmother – still weakened from her accident – would handle such devastating news.  We anxiously waited to see if she would give up on her own recovery, if grief would swallow her whole and break her heart.

It did not.

She came at her son’s death with tremendous sadness, of course, but also with a grace and dignity, beauty and calm that I have never witnessed in such sorrowful circumstances.

My Grandma is a trooper, a true warrior (and tender) heart, part of the reason I love her so fiercely. She’s a big inspiration to me (one of the reasons I wanted to share her with you, dear Reader!) We are kindred spirits, she and I, something I’m proud of.  A true testament to those of us who adore and appreciate those people and things that may be worn and “vintage”, but are valued and beautiful beyond measure.

To illustrate my point, I wanted to share a few old pictures of my grandmother that I recently had the pleasure of finding.

*

(Upper Left) 1964: Grandma has always loved flowers ; (Upper right) Grandma and a loved one…she is a marvelous hugger!; (Bottom) Bernadette, the bride, sitting beside her new husband, Lajos (my handsome grandpa) at their wedding in 1949. The live band behind them – complete with violinist! – was, according to her, delightful.

*

My grandma and grandpa, Bernadette and Lajos, newlyweds. They would go on to have four children.When my grandfather passed away, he and my grandma had been married for 49 years.  She found the special 50th wedding anniversary card he’d bought well in advance, while going through his things. They were the epitome of enduring, true love.

I’m ecstatic to report that my Grandmother is getting around (with walker) very nicely at present and back to full strength hugs and spirited shouts of “Saints preserve us!”. How lucky we all are to have her!

Marjory Barslow-Greenbie said, “Beautiful young people are accidents of nature. But beautiful old people are works of art.” Indeed they are!

I love you, Grandma!

Anne xox

P.S. If you love vintage shots like I do, check out the links to past Z & G stuff, below!

***

IF YOU LIKED THIS POST, YOU MAY ALSO LIKE THESE OTHER VINTAGE GOODIES:

Vintage Dancing Iris Fairy Daily Shot

So You Were Expecting A Pics of the Week Post…

Picture Play Magazine Cover, 1923 – Vintage Mae Busch Cover

Vintage Bathing Beauty with Anchors on Her Shoes

Vintage London Bus Daily Shot

Woman Playing 6-String Persian Lute (Vintage Photo) Daily Shot

From Grief to Gratitude: An East African Hot Spring Photo Lights the Way

It’s been a rough month. Downright depressing, actually.  I lost a dear friend to lung cancer.  I also lost my Aunt to uterine cancer.  The former left two daughters (the youngest just eight years old), the latter was like my cool, older sister. Both women had one-in-a-million (or more) personalities, and both were the epitome of a True Heart, embodied. For Earth to be without their sparkling souls is something that, for me, has painted many of the past few days a heavy, dreary grey.

And then, quite unexpectedly, I saw the following picture, of a hot spring in East Africa, and felt my own spirit swell.

Photograph by George Steinmetz, National Geographic. " Sulfur and algae turn hot springs into pools of living color. The water is condensation from hot gases rising from magma chambers. As the water evaporates, salts and minerals form a vivid crust."

I’ve seen many breathtaking photos in my day, but for some reason, this one, on this day, pushed all the right buttons, and did something magic: it blew back that gauzy grey curtain and made me smile.  I mean really smile.  From that Chakra right at my center, all the way out through my eyeballs and fingertips.  After giving it some thought, I realized why.

First, a confession: Though generally, I’m a glass-half-full, almost campy optimist, I have been feeling jilted. Ripped off.  By sickness (cancer, in particular) and by what seems like the unfair and unnatural “mean-ness” of a world that is rife with harsh realities and all too frequent ugliness. The potency of my sadness was so great that I was unable to see much else.

Then, I saw the photo.  Its vastness and beauty awed me.  It made me feel small. In a good way.  I wasn’t just a part of my microcosm, temporarily steeped in unfortunate circumstances and thieving, undeserved disease.  What I was – What I am – is so, so lucky. So fortunate. So very blessed. To be a part of a larger world where there is unparalleled, huge beauty. For every sadness and unpleasant event, there is a larger, more miraculous occurrence. This is constant, and true, no matter what is going on in my life. Like it or lump it, I am a small part of a larger, exquisite whole, and that whole, is filled with wonder and gorgeousness and goodness.

Just as amazing is that these breaths of splendour can be conscious and human, or without any discernible thought, natural and spontaneous. From the huge wave of palpable love for dear ones departed to the unbelievable, unlikely coming together of the elements to form this particular African hot spring.  What grandeur Mama Earth can produce on the fly! What a marvel that a human heart can love so deeply, be so broken…and rise to love even more profoundly afterward.

How extraordinary that a photographer – a stranger – George Steinmetz, could capture a moment in time, thousands of miles away, and that this frame would find me at just the right moment, tickle me awed… and lighten my grief enough to write this post.  How marvelous to be filled with such gratitude. How necessary to see. Lucky, lucky, blessed me.

Photo courtesy of National Geographic