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Friday, 13 February 2009

winkeloom1.jpg'This village, this is my world'

My grandmother always had a weak health but a strong character. She was born in the 1920's during the first wave of female liberation. My grandparents only had three kids, a disgrace in the catholic village where they lived. My mum recalls that the priest came visiting them to ask what was wrong. Nothing was wrong, my grandmother just had other priorities. Like opening her own fashion store. After years of being at home with the kids, she transformed my granddad's business into a lingerie shop. Women from all over the region came to her for their corsets and suspenders. I imagine that while their kids played with my mum and uncles, these ladies giggled as they were trying on the sexy tents my grandmum offered.

What I hear from family members is that my grandmother suffered a lot from migraine. 'The village was too small for her ambitions'. 'The age she lived in didn't allow her to develop herself as she would have liked to'. But she did her thing, not only in running a business, but also in housing refugees and always offering a home to my mum's friends. winkel_oma1.jpg

When she got cancer at an early age, she had to close down her store. My mum and her brothers sold the last pieces of lingerie and sat by her bed. She passed away when I had another three months in my mother's womb.

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