Good Morning to My Family, Friends and Followers
Life, like an ocean, ebbs and flows, bringing happiness and joy with each new birth. Then on the turn of its mercurial tide, we are left to mourn the passing of someone dear. We are left to grieve our loss, their empty place, but we are never left bereft of their presence. Our memories will always remain. There will always be reminders, of a person’s existence, whether it is an object, a photograph or an act of nature. Something will always trigger moments of time that will extend your lips into a smile or bring a tear to your eye.
In searching behind the old cupboard doors, my fingers have crossed paths with the presence of those that last touched letters and cards one hundred years before. There is nothing to trigger my own memories, but I wonder what memories those items would trigger for my Grandfather or his brothers? My thoughts are with my Great Grandmother who lovingly kept cards written to her children by their father from a foreign land. I found them sitting in an old jewellery box where she had placed them for safekeeping, together with a card in which is scribed “To my darling wife.”
If only I could feel the love Grandma felt as she held those cards in her hand; if only I could revisit her life on the day she received those cards in the mail. Those few precious words, she knew only too well, could be the last she’d receive from her husband who was away fighting a war. As I hold those cards in my hands, I wonder about the hands that held them last; about the hand that wrote the words. Those hands are intertwined with my own; my hands are the sum of theirs and more.
On the numerous occasions that I had sat on the floor of my Grandparents’ empty house filing through boxes and shelves, I could still feel the presence of those who once inhabited the rooms. By then it was no longer a home, it was an empty vessel for storing more than one lifetime of memories, all of which were at risk of disappearing. My grandmother’s smiling face was still glued to the kitchen window waving me off to work; the running feet of me and my siblings were still rumbling across the timber floors; my grandfather’s loud discussions and my Grandmother’s cackling laughter still bounced off the ripple iron walls. And my memories of the many photographs that sat on the sideboard was the sum of my Grandmother’s memories of her family and more.
Our memories are our most important and valuable possessions. They are more important than things. However, we should feel grateful when some of our ancestors leave things behind when they depart this life. Those things might be our only connection to family we did not have the privilege of knowing as their time was well before our own. They represent pieces of lives that form part of our own family tree.
Now, my grandmother’s old house no longer stands where it once used to be. But as bare as that land now seems, I still feel the house is there, like an amputated limb. So, nothing is gone forever, as the presence of life leaves a residue behind, a soul. The soul of that old house still lingers in the back of my mind with my memories which are the sum of the life of mine.