Euphoria Photography - Isle of Skye Wedding Photography, in the Highlands and Islands and throughout Scotland

06 May 2019


She'd always disapproved of my shoes.

Glittery, colourful, flashy - they were, in her mind, totally at odds with intelligence, academic studies and learning.

Of the two sisters, Anne was the one who graduated, became headmistress at a number of schools and received an MBE for services to education.  Meanwhile, she told me, her sister preferred a party life and colourful clothes.  So, reading between the lines, I think Anne always associated my dress sense with a bit of frivolity.

Until, that is, she learned I was taking a college course from home.

Before I was even close to finishing the course, she gave me a very special gift: her very own graduation gown.

Knowing how important education was to her, this wasn't a gift I took lightly.  It came with a heavy responsibility: to pass my course and make my good friend proud of me.  I had it all planned in my head, right down to heading down to London for my graduation, where I would wear her gown along with my craziest shoes.  

I submitted my novel for assessment in January and every time I popped in to see her, she would ask me whether I'd heard back.  

One day, she said: "I've been thinking about it and I think you'll be alright."

I didn't for a minute think I would be alright, but there was something in her certainty that made me smile.  I'd already made her proud, whatever the result.

Anne never got to know for sure.  She died in February.  

I'm grateful for many things.  I'm grateful I got to meet a wonderful, sensible, brave, fiesty, warm lady, whose lifespan almost reached a century.  I'm grateful she loved me, became family to me, advised me, supported me and worried about me.  I'm grateful I got to hear her stories.  I'm grateful I got to comfort her when she cried and massage her shoulders when she was stressed.

If I could be half the lady she was, I'll be very happy.


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