The Cameo Hairbrush
I still vividly remember the smell of my Granny’s house — a combination of sweet rose petals and mothballs. We would arrive every other weekend, and I would run into my Great Grandmothers arms.
As soon as I got the chance, I would slip away, walking up the blue and white swirly carpeted hallway, pretending I needed to use the bathroom, but instead sneak into my Grandmother’s room. There they sat, the most beautiful things I had ever seen and I was so desperate to touch. My Grandmother’s Cameo hairbrush, comb and mirror set — they were utterly forbidden, off-limits. A swirling golden circle — which I imagined was an intricate halo — surrounded the cream-faced greek goddess. She took her place centre-stage in the cream coloured back of both the brush and mirror. She seemed to whisper to me, like a siren’s call, to pick up the extravagantly engraved golden handles, to hold her, to play with her.
They sat elegantly on Granny’s makeup dresser; the centrepiece of her meticulously laid-out cosmetics, fragrances, perfumes and powders. I fantasised and longed to be old enough to play with this stuff. Many a day, my Great Grandmother sat with me and did just this, to my surprise and delight.
Decades later, I still find myself dreaming of the Cameo Hairbrush, of the smells and vivid colours in that old vintage, retro home, but mostly of the family who are no longer with us today. The real treasures in our life live in our hearts, our minds, our memories. The cherished memories we have of loving moments spent with friends, with family, with our parents, with grandparents, with great grandparents. Of adventures, of magic made, celebrations.