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Friday, March 4, 2016

Grandma's Hair

I thought I had written this story here before but, after a little time on Facebook this morning, I looked and I don't see it in any past blog but, just in case, my apologies if I'm repeating myself, as, apparently I have about family history courtesy which is a topic that keeps annoying.

At any rate, I'm calling this Grandma's Hair because it's a little memory about my maternal grandmother's hair and what happened when it was finally cut.

My maternal grandmother, Margaret (Maggie) Eleanor Wormuth Beismer, had very long hair that she, most often, wore braided and wrapped around her head but she sometimes wore in in a chignon at the back like this:

 She and several of her sisters had very dark hair.

Grandma's hair was very long, she could sit on it when it was down which I rarely saw although she took it down to brush it and re-braid it, at night.

As she got older, it turned salt and pepper and was very pretty but became a chore for her to wash and deal with so she asked her daughters to cut it.

I was there the day they decided to cut it.  I think she was in her early '60s but I can't be sure.  Now this is where I have to tell you that this is my memory, after many years, colored by the passage of time and a lot of emotion about the event so, take this as it is, a faulty but fond memory.

They unbraided her hair and brushed it down.  It was gorgeous; salt and pepper, and wavy from the braiding and more than long enough for her to sit on it.  My Mom was there and Aunt Mary and me and one of the other aunts but I can't remember which one.  They got a comb  and scissors and she sat in a chair and they were about to cut her hair when I thought, "Nobody will ever see her hair like this again; brushed down and long and beautiful."  So, I asked if we could take a picture of her before we cut it.

Well, Grandma didn't have a camera so we had quite a discussion and time spent and somebody ran to Aunt Mary's house to get her camera (she lived down the street and around the corner).  Grandma's hair was brushed again, her "Indian print" blanket was brought from the bedroom and wrapped around her shoulders and several pictures were taken.  She was beautiful.  Her hair was beautiful.  You could see the "Indian" ancestry.

Then they cut her hair.  I've already been sobbing as I'm writing this.  They cut her hair short, in the man-ish style that is favored in our family, except for some of us.  It seems to be favored by people who don't want to be bothered with much more than washing and combing their hair.  But, back to the story; it isn't over.

So, her hair was cut; everybody went home.

Some time later, I can't remember when or how long, the subject of the pictures came up.  The film was old and the pictures didn't come out.  No pictures of Grandma with her beautiful hair down.

It breaks my heart that the rest of the family will never see her as we saw her that day.  She had thick, dark, salt-n-pepper, wavy, very very, long hair that cascaded around her shoulders, down her back and she was sitting on it with an Indian print blanket wrapped around her shoulders.  She looked magnificent and more beautiful than I had ever seen her.



Her hair after was fine, still very pretty, naturally wavy.

But, that memory of her hair, just before it was cut will always be with me.

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