|My attempt at an arty photo|
Connections to family are important to me. The vase that I grew up seeing in my Grandmother's house now sits in my house. The chairs that belonged to my other Grandma occupy space in my study and my library. I can see these things on a daily basis and remember the good times, the connections I had remain strong even though sadly both my grandmothers are no longer living in the physical sense.
When my hubby's mother died, his family divided up a some of wedding presents that my mother in law had kept in a cupboard and rarely used. There were some beautiful items, and each of the children took away something that linked them back to their parents. Hubby chose a set of six small cut crystal glasses, still with their original maker's sticker, which we have recently started using when we indulge in a little muscat, they are beautiful glasses to drink from and each and every time I feel a connection.
Last weekend a new connection to family was made when my Aunt, my father's sister, sent me a gift.
You see, when I was growing up, my Aunt and her family lived overseas for much of my childhood and then when they returned to Australia, they settled in Canberra as my Uncle was in the Diplomatic Service.
We didn't get to see them often and they were my fantasy family, living in exotic lives in far off places. I remember how excited I was when they used to come to visit, I remember the gorgeous doll my Aunt sent me. Later in life, my Aunt would visit more often, but still years went by between the visits.
I was overwhelmed when she contacted me recently to say she wanted to send me a gift. It was hand delivered by her eldest son last weekend. I am even more overwhelmed now. So overwhelmed that I can't ring her so I wrote to her instead.
Dear Aunty V
When you called me a few months back to say you wanted me to have your pearls I was overwhelmed with your generosity. Little did I know how emotionally overwhelmed I would be when I actually opened them.
While I have not had the pleasure of seeing you on a regular basis while I was growing up, or even as an adult, given the physical distance that has always separated us, I always held you warmly in my heart.
You and your children were my fantasy family, living a life of excitement, travelling and living around the world. I am sure that your reality was in some cases quite different.
One thing I always remember when you did come to visit was the smell of your perfume when you cuddled me. That smell was reassuring, it was warming to my spirit and in some way luxurious to me.
Imagine my surprise when I opened your wrapped gift to be enveloped by that scent. I thought at first it was just the box that held the pearls, but no, it is there on the pearls themselves.
You can not begin to understand how that made me feel. It took me back to my childhood, it took me back to your embrace and it bought more than one tear to my eye.
I will wear your pearls with pride and pleasure; I hope the scent of you remains there for a long time, a treasured reminder of the gracious and generous lady who gave them to me.
With much love
Connections to the past keeping those people in the present.