‘I Made peace with My grandma’
Becky Horsbrugh, 49, is a journalist and lives in London
other people’s grandmothers might knit jumpers or hand out sweets, but my grandma, Sheila, was different. She wore pressed, clean-cut dresses with sharp necklines and hems. She had strong, traditional values – we always had to be on our best behaviour – and her lack of tact is something I’ll never forget.
when I got married in Italy in 2007, she couldn’t come, as the flight was too much for her. But when I showed her the photos afterwards, I saw her frown.
‘It’s your dress,’ she said. ‘I don’t like it.’ I wasn’t offended – that was just Grandma, honest whether you liked it or not.
as I got older, the distance between us grew until I stopped seeing her altogether. when she passed away in 2014, aged 104, I hadn’t seen her in at least a year. I’d already lost my father and brother before her, which I found difficult to accept.
after her death, the family cleaned out her house and found one of Grandma’s old dresses from the 1950s, a black and gold dress from a London boutique. my mum thought I would like it as a memento, but I just shoved it in my wardrobe without really looking at it.
Dressed to impress
In march this year, I had to go to an event at the Houses of Parliament, and I was at a loss for what to wear. Then I saw the dress and realised it was perfect.
Holding my breath, I zipped it up. It fitted me perfectly.
I know Grandma would have been delighted that I wore her dress to Parliament and got so many compliments. In a way, I feel like I’ve finally made my peace with her. I guess we were more alike in ways I never knew.
Becky in her grandma’s cocktail dress