I have been going through old journals where I’ve inserted all kinds of memorabilia and came across this photo of my grandmother. It was on the Christmas card I received from her in 1996. My grandfather had died in March of that year and at age 96 Grandma was an independent woman for the first time in her life.
Grandma had always had long hair, because my grandfather liked it that way. She wore it up in a bun at the back of her head. I remember as a little girl I once convinced her to let her hair down out of her bun for me so I could comb it and I couldn’t believe how long it was. It stretched almost to her waist.
After Grandpa died Grandma got her hair cut and had it permed. I remember going to visit her shortly after she had been to the beauty shop and being quite taken aback at the change in Grandma’s hairstyle. She told me how much she had admired and loved my other grandmother’s hair. My Mom’s mother, my Grandma Annie had short, perfectly white wavy hair.
Grandma said she had always longed to have hair like that and now that she could make her own decisions she had decided to get her hair cut and permed. Her new style was featured on her 1996 Christmas card.
Grandma’s signature on the back of the card includes her maiden name as well as her married name. Perhaps another sign of her new independence?
I also remember how that Christmas in 1996 we grandchildren each received an unusually generous cheque from Grandma and she told us to buy something with it that would remind us of her. I don’t recall what my husband Dave did with his half of the cheque, but after purchasing gifts from their great grandmother for both of my sons, I had enough money left to buy this bench. The seat opens up so you can store things inside. Twenty- five years later it still graces the front hallway of our home.
I think of Grandma every time I look at it.