When you’re the older generation

Yesterday I visited someone who I had been fond of; a strong, sweet, determined woman. We’d been tangentially related by marriage for a time (too complicated, let’s not go there – and not my story to tell). I visited as part of seeing some relatives. Today she passed away in that sudden-but-not-totally-unexpected way the 90+ sometimes do.

She was, I think, the last of her generation in that family, and certainly mine. Mum and Dad had me at 40, so I sit between generations. All the same, when Mum died 6 years ago I became, at 48, one of the older generation in my family. A history keeper, story teller, someone meant to remember all the threads and be able to tie them together.

It’s not a role I felt ready for then, nor do I now. I love scrapbooking so I’m a history keeper and story-teller in that sense. But the “who used to live where” and what was great Uncle Whatsit’s son called?” is beyond me. I’m not good with genealogy or remembering how distant relatives tie in. If, in 40 years’ time, I’m the old lady in the rest home and my great-nieces and great-nephews come looking for answers, I hope Google is ready – because I won’t be…

Shirley – Mum and Dad were very fond of you. You were always kind to me, and welcoming. Rest well.


Faith and trust

For the last two nights I have woken up and been able to smell a woman’s old-fashioned perfume – pansies or African violets maybe? And the smell of a man, from decades ago, who smoked, mixed with something else I couldn’t quite identify. My brother-in-law is a fragrance aficionado and strongly connects smells with memories. I thought I knew what I was smelling so asked him tonight, without saying why I was asking.

Sure enough, I’m describing Roger and Tony’s Mum and Dad. She wore Coty Lily of the Valley, he sometimes smoked a pipe. Tony helped me identify the rest of the smell, probably leather and leather work dyes etc. That feels right to me.

Why are they visiting us (me)? Not sure. Probably just to let me know they’re around and everything is ok with Tony.

Done in my large Dylusions journal. Inks: Slate grey, Crushed grape, After midnight, White linen. Paints: Crushed grape, Laidback lilac. Stencils: Shutters, Diamonds in the rough, Squares. Stamps: Dy’s alphabet.¬†Other: Pitt Big Brush pen, Distress ink, Archival ink, Distress collage medium, white gel pen, black Uniball pen.

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