Thursday 29 November 2012

Looking at the dead people

16st 3lb (I blame that columnists’ lunch – no, feast – at Caffe Vivo), 6.0 units. This morning after breakfast The Boy announced “Mummy, I want to go and look at the dead people.” So they went into the sitting room and Mrs H pointed out the two sepia photographs of my parents as small children, taken I would guess a little over 100 years ago when they were two or three. My father wears a sailor suit and “With love from Little Harry” is written in ink in a corner of the picture. My mother wears the sort of smock in which the Edwardians used to dress children of both sexes. The Boy thought his deceased grandmother was very pretty.

Then they moved on to a picture of my parents together outside their front door in Longbenton, taken a year or two before my father died in 1982. And finally a late snap of mother in her wheelchair in the front garden of my house in Northumberland, with a Border terrier on her knee. “She’s holding my doggie!” said The Boy, so Mrs H had to explain that it wasn’t in fact our current pet, but a predecessor called Arthur who was then just a puppy but is now, well, for want of a better word, dead.

The Boy nodded. He’s got his head around the concept now.

“She looks very like Daddy’s Auntie, doesn’t she?” he concluded of my mother. Both are, or were, octogenarians; and both have white hair. There the resemblance ends, really, and it could hardly be otherwise since they are completely unrelated; my aunt is my mother’s brother’s widow. Still, it left The Boy satisfied that one of life’s mysterious loose ends had been cleared up.

1 comment:

CC said...

An enchanting heart touching episode.
Love Charlie's curiosity and interest in "meeting" his ancestors.

Thanks for sharing this.