I’m not normally given to big introspections (is that the right word), but lately I’ve been thinking about what I’ve lost, rather than what I’ve gained. Maybe they’re different ends of the same stick? I don’t know.

My sister has sent me a few photographs. Some are photos of someone who looks like I may have looked when I was a great deal shorter and very much younger. Some are photos of people and places that were taken before I was even born (if your imagination would let you think that far back – I know, it’s a very big ask).

I mean, I love the photo of Archie (maternal grandfather) sitting on his AJS, with his cups, medals and trophies.

And I love the photo of Bampa (who I’m [officially] named after), all poshed up and standing in a line of colliers, meeting a Royal Personage.

But they’re gone now. My dad died when I was not much more than a toddler. My mother batted on through a series of other husbands and lovers before she too succumbed to illness and died a few years ago.

All the things pertaining to our (my) family heritage remained in the house, along with her most recent husband. When he died, all those things and various other possessions passed to his offspring, not to my mother’s children. That’s the law folks, that’s just how it works, unless you write a Will that states in cast-iron terms what must happen upon your demise. Mine does. My mother’s… didn’t.

But all those things, those tangible things which were physical connections to my heritage (and my siblings heritage) to the many branches of my family… they’re all gone. So too is the house and everything that was in it, and everything that was in the garage. I wonder what happened to the fibreglass dinghy I had in there? That was a tidy little boat.

I have no connection with the two places I lived; eight years in Blaenavon, and eight years in Llanover – no connection other than memory. I’ve lived here, in the East Midlands, longer than I lived in either of those places. Today, in a final gesture of turning the switch off, I’ve changed the last of my passwords from those places I used to live. That was a sad moment; a small act of cutting a connection. Everything is transient, if you don’t take steps to ensure it isn’t. And even death can cut across your plans when you aren’t looking.

2 thoughts on “Connections

  1. This post resonates with me… probably because I spend more time looking backward than forward.
    But also because, when my maternal grandmother died, they found a Tesco carrier bag stuffed with letters that my grandad had written her during the war. They were passed down to my mother and they made interesting reading, giving a small glimpse into what life was like as a POW, and – stamped as they were by the German vetting services – they made fascinating historical documents.
    But when my mum died, they passed not to me, but to her younger sister who will, in turn, pass them down to her oldest, where they will likely be lost or thrown away… if they haven’t been already (I asked my aunt as to their whereabouts a while back, but she had no idea). Luckily, I had the foresight to scan them all before I handed them back to my mother all those years ago, but it’s such a shame to have lost that physical, tangible connection.

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