Wednesday, 3 February 2016

We’ll Meet Again (*)

Sadly, my lovely grandad died on Sunday 27th December 2015 after a painful and prolonged struggle with cancer. I was determined that he should have an illustration on his Order of Service booklet that reflected his personality and love of nature.
The final illustration for his Order of Service uses old and new drawings taken from my sketchbook. My favourite illustrations have been collaged together into a colourful wreath using Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop. Each image represents his interests or the idea of remembrance.

Rosemary is a traditional herb used in funerals as a symbol of remembrance and memories of loved ones.

Pansies were grandad's favourite flower and symbolise loving thoughts. Forget me nots mean 'remember me forever' and symbolise love.

Two birds are jauntily perched at the top of the wreath as he adored them. The robin was a frequent visitor and could be seen following him around when he was busy working in the garden.

The text is taken from grandad's handwriting. This is particularly poignant as when I went away to university, grandad wrote to me at least twice a month. This continued up until his first admission to hospital in October 2015. I've treasured each and every letter that he sent me. They are all over my house in little bundles, there's even a few boxes of them in the loft.

I've loved the detailing of our everyday lives in the letters ranging from the weather and worries to jobs and children. They document how much our lives have changed over the years. Some of my favourite letters are from when I lived in Japan. I think grandad struggled to get to grips with my address in Tokoname as it is different on each envelope, although his letters always found their way to my little flat there.
I feel very sad that our letter writing is at an end. It would take a lot of paper and ink to thank both my grandparents for so many beautiful memories. They have been my anchor, my constant in an ever changing world. For now, I'll look at the birds eating the juicy bright red berries on the berberis shrub outside my kitchen window and be reminded of all the happy times that we spent together.

(*): We'll Meet Again - Vera Lynn

We'll meet again
Don't know where
Don't know when
But I know we'll meet again some sunny day
Keep smiling through
Just like you always do
'Till the blue skies drive the dark clouds far away

So will you please say hello
To the folks that I know
Tell them I won't be long
They'll be happy to know
That as you saw me go
I was singing this song…

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