Saturday, November 11, 2017

Remembering Marion

Remembrance - my father who was in the U.S. Army MASH units in the last year of WW2, his brother Edgar a radio operator in the U.S. airforce, my mother in the British Land Army and at Bletchley Park. We thank you and your compatriots for all you did to save the world from Fascism. Glad none of you is here to see the state of the world today. But then - after last Tuesday's elections in the U.S. - there's hope again. Up and down we go.

But in honour of remembering, here's a photograph that means a great deal. My Washington cousin gave me this shot I'd never seen before of my British grandmother Marion Edith Alice Bates at age 18 or so during WW1. The photo was damaged so I had it repaired and enlarged. Marion had just become a teacher, her thick auburn hair tied behind her neck with a bow - and look at that tiny waist! I see so many of her descendants in her face, including both my children, my brother, and me. I have her thin shoulders, too, though have not, have never had, that waist. Soon she'd marry my grandfather Percy Harold Leadbeater, 100% not the right man for her, a dry stick who was lucky to marry this great beauty. However, we're all glad she did, because here we are.

So in remembrance of Marion, a supply teacher and great cook in a thatched cottage in a village, growing her own fruit and vegetables, making her own bread, sewing her own clothes and those of her 3 daughters, and later a proud, delicate grandmother to her 4 grandchildren - I honour and remember you today. I'm wearing the ring you gave my mother and she gave me, a gift from your best friend Hattie Cumberpatch, and the watercolour you did of the cottage where you raised your family, where my mother was born, is in my office. So you are always with me.

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