Remember the time

It’s June, which means we are officially into summer, it’s the wedding season, and when everything goes well, lots of sunshine, and many happy faces! I love summer, I love Sunshine, and I am a happy person, who likes to smile. But today, for 15 years now, this month brings also some sadness. The month of losing some loved ones. My mother and ‘grandma’ Begum Om Habibeh Aga Khan.


Old vintage photo of my mom (1936 – 2000), in old vintage silk Cartier picture frame, vase Wedgewood, flowers by Bloom studio (click photo to enlarge).

It’s now exactly 15 years ago that my mother died of cancer. Time flies, and sometimes it still feels like yesterday.

Hearing the bad news (again) she didn’t wanted any treatment. And then, one day, she was on. Although I remained at home, to take care of her, I didn’t see how sick she really was. Actually, the realization came when she no longer came out of bed. Almost six weeks my mother needed to die. It were horrible weeks, to swallow, was getting more and more difficult. Quite apart from all the pain she must have had of the falls. Lying upstairs in her own bed was the only thing she wanted. So we could have our ‘normal’ life.

Candle GIF

My mother had a few very good friends, who helped us through: Dora van Ee, Ann Voets and Riek Vroegop (I will never forget!), we called them ‘the Golden Girls’ after the famous tv-show. All 4 represent one of the types from the show. Upstairs, in her bedroom, it looked many times if we were on the set of ‘the Golden Girls’. We laughed (out loud) and we cried. I let her drink when she wanted, I offered her small tasty snacks, which she sometimes took, but fast enough that they where no longer wanted. Not all nurses who suported us when we needed understood what was going on (“she must sleep in a hospital bed!”). We continued day and night with her to let her know that she should go. It was alright.
When my mother ‘finally’ passed away, we saw the face as we knew coming back a bit: the face of a dear mother, who had tried to live her life as best she could, who had peace with her death, children and her friends. Then the disease, and taking care of her children was over.

Cartier Limoges La Maison Vase Mother Tiffany & Co Sterling frame

Cartier Limoges Art Deco La Maison vase and vintage Tiffany & Co sterling frame (all privat collection) (Click photo to enlarge)

Yes, I remember the time. The time that she (and my dad) took care of me, after countless hospital stays. Our fantastic holidays. All the things they teached us….

Time flies, sometimes it (still) feels like yesterday! I will always remember the time! Thanx always!

gr.Jean Amr

The Begum by Charles Kiffer (1902 – 1992)

Charles Kiffer grew up in an artistic environment. His father had as a tailor, many famous artists as customer. His mother was a piano teacher. As a child he made drawings and caricatures of the friends and acquaintances of his parents. In 1918, Kiffer admitted to the École Supérieure des Beaux Artes, where he focused on painting. A drawing he made of Maurice Chevalier went so well, that he was commissioned to create posters for his shows. Kiffer was apart from painter and designer of posters also an accomplished graphic artist. From 1929 he produced his own lithographs.

Charles Kiffer

Begum Andrée Joséphine Carron Aga Khan by Charles Kiffer, Cartier Art Deco pendulettes (from privat collection), flowers from Bloom Flower Studio

Maurice Chevalier continued to remain faithful to him, and gave him his ’till the 1960’s commands for posters. Also many other greats knew where to find Kiffer, Brigit Bardot, Edith Piaf, Yves Montand, George Guétary, Charles Trenet, Josephine Baker, Andrée Joséphine Carron Aga Khan, Begum Om Habibeh Aga Khan, Gilbert Bécaud and Marcel Marceau – There was almost no French celebrity who does not accept to be immortalized by Charles Kiffer, during his long life. Charles Kiffer died on 20 January 1992 in Paris.