Friday, July 23, 2010

Sah and Me

This is Me and my Great-Grandmother, Gladys Holman.
We called her Sah.

We became good buddies when she came to live with our family.
Apparently, I never talked before that time, but she helped me find my voice.
The family joke is that I haven't stopped talking since.

This photo isn't real.
Well, it probably really happened, but my husband photoshopped it for me from these two photos.

When we were first married I was telling my husband how sad I was that I don't have a single photo of Sah and me together.  The closest I could come to a picture of us was these two pictures taken the same day on our front lawn.  It must've been Pioneer Day, because of my dress.  And I was probably 2 1/2 years old.
So, he put the to together.  He did a great job, didn't he?  It made me cry.

Anyway, when Sah died, I inherited her bedroom furniture.

This lovely dresser was part of the set and I used it all through my childhood.  One summer, I was home from college, and sleepless.  I looked over at my dresser, which had always been covered in layers of white paint. I wondered what was underneath all that icky paint.

My neighbor at the time was always refinishing wood furniture, so I asked him to teach me how.
I worked so hard on this piece and was pleasantly surprised to discover a beautiful two-toned wood underneath.

But an even more meaningful surprise came while I was cleaning the drawers out.  Tucked inside one of the drawers, stuck between the wall and floor of the drawer, I found one of Sah's hairpins.  It had been there all along, and I never knew it.  In that moment, I felt her very close to me.  This find was the best part of refinishing the dresser.  I keep that hairpin in my jewelry box, and when I look at it, it always makes me smile.

So here I was, happy to have just a small hairpin to remind me of my relationship with my great-grandma, when years later, after my grandmother's death, I was given this:

I guess it was a necklace that she had which belonged to Sah and was meant for me.  
I'm a little fuzzy on those details, but I love it.

With Pioneer Day coming up, I suppose it has turned my mind to my ancestors, all of them Pioneers in one way or another.  Sah came to the United States from England, and years later, along with my grandmother and my mother, joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints when some missionaries found them and taught them about the church.  I am so thankful for the heritage that has grounded me in the gospel of Jesus Christ and which compels me forward through a happy and fulfilling life.

I'm sure that we all have pioneers to honor this weekend, and I hope that we all take time to think of them and to teach our children about the people who made their lives possible!

Have a good weekend!


  1. What a sweet story! It's nice to have that connection to our ancestors. When my great-aunt died everyone got to go through her jewelry and take what they wanted. I was the last one to show up and wasn't going to go through it because it had already been picked over. I'm so glad I did anyway! In amongst the costume jewelry that nobody touched was her mother's (my great-grandmother) simple wedding ring. It had their initials and wedding date engraved inside the band. I use it as part of my own wedding ring set now.

    How sweet of your husband to "create" that photo for you!

  2. What a sweet picture! The dresser and necklace are beautiful.

  3. That's what being a Mom will get you...I have pen on my neck and I didn't even know it! :)

  4. what a great photoshop job, Steve. And yes, that necklace did belong to Sah and when she died, my mom made sure each of you got something from her. She carefully wrapped up each piece of jewelry in tissue paper and attached the name to it. Sah didn't have expensive stuff, but all the stuff she had, she loved. and wore. I often feel her close to me

  5. sweet story and love the photoshopped photo.

  6. You made me a little teary! What a beautiful post.

    We've driven down to my hometown to enjoy the 24th celebrations- they don't have any where we live. What's the 24th without some horses, pioneer dresses, & a handcart or 2?

    Workin' hard on the birthday service. I'll update you soon!

  7. Wow what a great post and so appropriate for the day. I love your little pioneer costume and the story of your grandma.

  8. That was such a wonderful post.. and the picture is beautiful.. I wouldn't have guessed it wasn't real..

  9. Iwas lucky enough to have had my grandmother and greatgrandmother in my life, in fact, at my wedding we had a photo taken of five generations in my mother's line. That is a picture which is in one of my journals, and is one I will always treasure. I am LDS living in KwaZulu Natal in South Africa, and really enjoy reading blog entries from sisters across the world.