Saturday, 7 May 2011

A Very Short - and Very Honest - Blog Post

I saw a wonder today.

I took my Mother to the Science Museum. She’s never been; she’s lived on the edge of the city for many years, yet such things are a mystery to her. She knows Harrod’s, Harvey Nick’s, Oxford Street… but after that, the map says ‘Here Be Dragons’.

In the 60s, my Mum was air hostess, flying BEA and Jersey Airlines out of the Channel Islands. There are pictures of her, exquisitely glamorous with her little hat perched on top of her swept blonde beehive… I’ve no idea how I manage to be her daughter and such an irredeemable scruff. I knew the Flight exhibit would be special, but I don’t think I was prepared for how much.

This afternoon, I’ve spent an hour watching my Mother walk through her past, seen the memories shadow her gaze and pass across her face like ghosts. I don’t know what they were – only pieces – but to see her youth suddenly shining like that brought a lump to my throat and I had to turn away.

It’s easy to think of our parents as through their lives began when ours did, to forget that they were young and foolish and reckless too. Seeing my Mum transformed like that, seeing the magic of her twenties and thirties, her life and hopes and dreams, seeing everything she loved and lived for…

Even typing it now brings tears to my eyes.

That was quite the most wondrous thing.

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Anonymous said...

And that photo is also a precious thing. Our grandparents have important things to pass on. I barely knew one of my grandfathers but I still feel he's given me something important in the few times we met.

Traveller28 said...

You truly are a fantastic writer and this really bought back some mixed memories of my own father for me. Thanks for sharing.

meeware said...

Very beautifully put Danie, really lovely.

I wonder if Chaoscub's going to have the same feeling one day. Maybe, maybe not- it's not like we bottle things up the way previous generations do or did.

Jo Hall said...

What a lovely post, Danie. I'm touched :)

Alastair said...

Great post Danie, you hit the nail squarely on the head.
I remember recently being shown a photograph of my Grandmother as a young girl. Her mischievous smile was a real shock as suddenly I saw her as a fun loving child, rather than the wise, frail and caring old lady that I had grown up with.
We need to cherish moments like these.

Iain said...

Too true, Danie. Parents and grandparents stories are important, however remote they might be from oneself. Easily forgotten or ignored until too late.

Unknown said...

Something I often think about myself, lives previously.

I've got my great grandfather's WW1 Diaries and even reading those gets you.

This is a reflective, touching and thoughtful entry. Thanks for sharing, Danie!