This is a photo of a framed picture my mother has hanging in her house. It has been there for years and I find myself inspecting it every time I’m there.
Alice could probably tell you the date and the ages of everyone in it. All I recall is that it was the Oakbank School production of “The importance of being Earnest” and everyone in it seemed to enjoy themselves enormously.
We took the picture down from the wall when I visited this weekend and moved it into the sunshine so I could photograph it. We all gather round it and look fondly and sadly at Emma. “Look what beautiful eyes she has” my grandma says and she’s right of course.
“She has naughty eyes gran” I say. “Full of mischief, fun and knowing. The sort of eyes that can get you into all kinds of trouble”.
And I wonder to myself what Emma’s life might have been like without such fabulous eyes. Those eyes that saw so much in too short a time. Those eyes that looked at so many with love. Those eyes that knew too much sadness. Those eyes that looked, studied, read and learned. Those eyes that looked at my new-born sons face and saw the same beauty I saw.
This is how I choose to remember Emma. With her eyes that laughed, loved and lived, and were full of mischief. Because they inspired mischief and laughter in me too.