So depending on how well you know me you may or may not know that I originally started Bubbles & Bones back in 2013. I had a good run at it for about 60 days and then my posting kinda tapered off... Recently on Facebook memories, I was reminded of a post I wrote inspired by my grandmother and great-grandmother. While that post screams of 25-year-old immaturity (I'm sorry for what I said about yoga pants), and is not at all the message I wanted to share, I knew that I wanted to share with my new readers a little about them.
They were the ultimate icons of style and class. Their self-worth, perseverance, and confidence never came from another, it was an internal fire that I hope burns a little inside me as well.
My grandmother and great-grandmother (and their husbands) lived life so fully that most people don't believe me when I share stories of them. Partying at the palace in Monaco, speed boats down the Riviera, movie stars and royalty as friends and more. But their lives weren't always like that.
Before the speedboats and the Royals came extreme heartache and tragedy - as did many other global citizens of the time. World War II brought war to the small island that my family was living on (Java). My grandmother only knew her fathers face from a photograph until she was 3 years old, as he was detained at the male camp and my great-grandmother and grandmother at the female camp. They were held in concentration camps located in the remote jungle Boven-Digoel by the Japanese during WWII - as they lived in the Dutch East Indies running their printing empire at the time. They lost everything, including parents, siblings, businesses, homes and more. But again, they didn't let that stop them. The three of them rebuilt their lives and lived them to the fullest.
Our family crest has the words "door tyd en vlyt" on it - which translates from Dutch to English as "Through time with diligence" (if you've seen me in a bikini you know that this is incorporated into one of my tattoos). They never let their situations define them and worked diligently for the rest of their lives, to live their best lives.
Consistently pulled together and polished, they oozed style and class. My grandmother more of a rebellious spirit was one for furs and embellishments, yet rooted her style with the classics. Hermes, Chanel, custom couture made for her by her best friend, and famous Dutch designer Edgar Vos.
My great-grandmother, having lived through losing everything during the war (and getting it back again) was more conservative in her style and lifestyle. Most of the photographs I have of her are in elegant gowns or hosting a lavish party, not a hair, nail or button out of place. She was an incredible hostess and cook. She was made up at all times and it wasn't until she became physically unable to that her hair went uncolored or not styled in elaborate combs.
My great-grandmother passed away when I was 5 years old, but thankfully I do have some memories of her. My grandmother was one of the most influential people in my life and unfortunately passed away way too soon. I was able to spend at least one day a week with her until her death when I was 15. Her loss is still felt deeply by my mom and myself. The photographs I have of both of them are some of my (and my moms) most prized possessions. Each photo of them is a complete story. A fairy tale of sorts. I find myself in awe of the lives they lived and often daydream filling in the gaps I don't know.
One of my goals for 2018, and through life, is to be more like them. To be consistent in my life, my style, my demeanor. To pass through life diligently and with purpose.
XOXO | SLL