Monday, 11 February 2019

How the love of your grandparents never leaves you

I'm taking an online writing course at the moment (Neil Gaiman's masterclass) and  one of the helpful suggestions is a kind of diary of things that you noticed today that interested you. I started yesterday.

Today I looked down at a photograph on my computer, of my step-grandparents in Norway taken on the 17th May many years ago. This is the national day of independence from Denmark. Everyone dresses up in suits and national dress, their best clothes. It's an amazing display of solidarity and nationalism I wish we had in this country. It's a day of unity and purpose. Even the teenagers aren't embarrassed to participate.

But I digress.

The photo of my Bestemor and Bestefar, smiling in the sun of their backyard of the family island home evoked these thoughts:

They lived in a very small, protected world, unlike mine, knowing nothing of Science Fiction or modern music. Some would say ignorant. But they were happy in their little world. And they loved their children and grandchildren. They took us in as their own, into a sort of  cosy bubble around everyone. They were stalwart sentinels of love and patience. Weekly rituals. Annual rituals. The years rolled away until their bodies and minds faded and we lost them, those two shining people of all that is good. They knew hardship as a young couple during the war. They knew death and suffering. Is that what enabled them to create a sense of gratitude and joy towards life? All I know is I can still hear their voices and feel their arms around me.

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