Sunday, May 08, 2011

Family Ties

A few weeks ago, when I was home in Newcastle, my Dad brought out an old leather suitcase.  It had been lying in his study for some years, since my Grandpa's death and he had only just begun to go through it.  Inside was a cornocopia of items; things my Grandpa had kept because they had meaning for him and my Granny.  Through these objects I had brief access to a tiny slice of the things they deemed important - it was humbling.  Inside this leather case were cards and congratulations messages to them on the engagement and marriage of my parents; their order of service; letters my parents sent to them from Kenya, complete with details about me and when my sister was born, a letter detailing how ill she was.  There were exercise books that I had written in, sentences that I had copied when I was no more than four and bizarrely some passport sized photographs of my friends from primary school and another photograph of the lady who lived next door - Auntie Rae! Who knows how they came to be in there.  Tucked away under these relatively new items, was evidence of family long gone - my greatgrandparents death certificates/birth certificates, detailing the Welsh side of our family.  Going through all these things with my Dad gave me a wonderful sense of continuity as well as a strong feeling of belonging to a family that had a history, one that I was now playing a part of, and one that my children would go onto play their parts too...

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