My mother was an only child, and my sisters and I were extremely close to our maternal grandmother. I always thought we were so lucky that we didn’t have to share her with cousins, and we got her all to ourselves. She spoiled us on a regular basis, and I think she influenced our styles, too, in different ways.
Nonnie passed away when I was a freshman in college, and when I moved to Austin and rented my first apartment, I was fortunate to inherit lots of her furniture. At the time, I thought it was pretty, if dated. But as my sense of style matured and I furnished my own home, I realized how classic her pieces are, and how blessed I am to have them with me. Nonnie knew Ryan, but she didn’t get to meet my boys, and I like that we are surrounded by the same pieces she had in her house while my mother was growing up.
When we redid our kitchen and flooring, I spruced up our front room, which holds a lot of my grandmother’s furniture, and I added some modern touches to make it my own. But her style is so similar to mine that her things fit right in, and they hold such special memories.
Nonnie kept these pieces in her formal living room, and when my sisters and I spent the night, we would play charades and other games there all day long. I would pretend her living room was my apartment, and make believe I was a glamorous actress or someone obviously very famous to own such beautiful and elegant furnishings. The truth is that my grandparents worked very hard and didn’t have much, but they bought what they could afford and cared for it lovingly, eventually passing things down to my mother, my sisters, and me.
Now everything is in my house, and I escape to the front room when I want to relax with a book or talk on the phone in peace and quiet. As soon as I sit on her couch, I’m flooded with memories of my childhood. I’m protective of her furniture, and I don’t like the boys to jump or play on it, yet I love that they can enjoy the pieces as much as I did.
I have lots of my grandmother’s possessions, like her china and even some pieces of clothing, but I see and use her furniture every day, and it’s such a wonderful way to remember her.