|image from titanichonorandglory.com|
Deanna's thoughts about the movies last week brought to mind an idea for a post that I have long been pondering. Do you remember the beginning of the final scene of "Titanic!" ? As Rose, now elderly, lies in her bed passing away in her sleep, the camera pans over to her night table. The table is filled with framed pictures of Rose doing all the things she dreamed of doing when she was fighting for her survival in the cold waters of the Atlantic. Here is Rose riding a horse in a pair of pants. There is Rose getting ready to fly in an airplane, and there climbing on an elephant! And here with her children - there her grandchildren. Dreams big and small, come true. Cherished memories of a life well-lived; carefully framed in gratitude.
I have just returned from a visit to my parents. Every time I go to their house I pour through the family photographs. My one grandmother's family was wealthy before the depression, and my other grandmother was an artist. Round that out with a father who loved photography, and I am so fortunate to have many, many photographs and drawings of my family history. I just love to look closely at the clothes they wore, and the cities behind them. I even have grocery lists, showing a loaf of bread that costs 5 cents, a movie ticket, a telegram; clues to life in another time, and clues to their lives in particular. I would just love to talk to my grandmother who bobbed her hair in the 1920's causing my grandfather to stop speaking to her for days. Or to ask my artist grandmother what it was like to commute to Pratt art school in New York and be one of the only women on the bus.
I love to look at the expressions on their faces. It gives me a sense of timelessness. The same range of human emotions visible there in the 1920's (of course) as those we all feel now. There is my three year old mother looking none to happy about the new baby sister who has just come home. My grandmother is looking quite flirty there on grandpa's lap. Parents from the 1800's showing off their babies at the beach with pride. People bustling through New York, trying to get to work - model T's flying by, stirring up the dirt roads. A trip to Europe, standing near the Eiffel Tower, where I stood two summers ago. It all just stirs my imagination.
|Priceless expression - dethroned by the new addition!|
|Mother , happier, with her new umbrella|
Anyway - it occurs to me that I am working on my collection, as are you all. It's what we all hope and pray for - dying safely and comfortable in our own beds, after long lives, surrounded by family and memories. I think of my nightstand. In recent years I have been fortunate to add favorite photos from New England, Arizona, France. I have beautiful portraits that I have taken of my family and my friends. I have a shelf that holds portraits of each pet who has shared my life. I have a picture of my childhood home, Mom and Dad outside. I know - I am a hopeless romantic!
Tell me - should we be so fortunate - what will your nightstand hold?