You may remember that the end of last month I discovered a whole box full of photos and memorabilia that I haven't looked at let alone scrapped. It is going to take me a long time to get through it all but I am going to work through it. Some of the pictures have had real stories to tell and they are the ones I am working through first but many are tinged with sadness too.
Some of the pictures that really upset me were the pictures of Daddy in Australia and I can't really share the page without the story.
Please feel free to skip from here and go straight to the page - it's all very personal stuff that won't really mean a lot to others.
My mom and Dad had never really travelled. Well, Daddy had - he'd been all round the world in the navy and then in the army, but they hadn't really had holidays abroad. Our holidays were to the caravan in Wales, to Bristol and to Devon and Cornwall. We didn't mind - we lived right by the sea so that was wonderful. We went to Guernsey when I was 9 and on a 4 day cruise when I was 13 and to Majorca when I was 15 and, in all honesty, they probably only did that for me. They were, however, planning a biggie. We almost emigrated to Australia in 1966 (the days of the £10 pom) and I found all the records of that too. Our visas, medicals, ship passage etc. We didn't go, we moved to Bournemouth instead (a story for another day) but my Dad would have loved to go because his sister and family all lived there. When they sold their hotel and retired they planned a trip to Singapore and Australia, the biggest trip my Mom would ever have done. They were going for over a month to see my aunt and her family. Mom bought a mess of new stuff for her trip. They were due to go in April 1990 (I found all the booking forms for that too ... my parents were hoarders, not of things but of bits of paper)
On March 12th 1990 my Mom suffered a heart attack and was rushed into hospital. I found the letter I wrote cancelling their holiday due the following month as the doctor said she obviously could not travel. A week later she had a second fatal heart attack whilst getting ready to come home from the hospital. My Daddy was, of course, bereft. He also knew he would now never get to see his sister in Australia.
A year after my mommy died her brother-in-law died. My Aunty Betty, Mommy's sister, said that she was going to take Daddy to Australia as Mommy would have wanted him to do that trip. They were both now widowed and so they planned to go together. Once in Australia they would stay with different families as Uncle John (her husband) also had a sister in Australia. It was in many ways the perfect situation out of such a horrible tragedy. He did go, thanks to my aunt who made him, and he did see his Australian family and he did have a lovely time, but it was so tinged with sadness. He was meant to be there with his soul mate and he felt her loss so much on that trip.
I found his photos of Australia and knew I had to record the story for their album. I had to pay tribute to my aunt and I had to show that he did finally make the trip. the photos made me cry. He looked so thin (my father had always been a big man) and in the one with kangaroos quite poorly. I couldn't bring myself to scrap the photo that broke my heart. It was the picture of his hotel room with his shoes neatly under the coffee table, the bedside table loaded with his medication and it was a bit suite - for one - so lonely. I couldn't stop thinking about how he must have felt to be in that hotel room on his own with just his thoughts and his loss. I am so so proud of him for going, so glad he got to make the trip and so pleased I recorded it.
Well done for reading through all of this. I always say it is MY blog and I dump my thought here. Often it makes interesting reading and I post cool cute stuff from the world. Other times, like today, it is just very personal, of no real interest to anyone but me, but it's my diary, my therapy and my record so if you got through all of that .. well done.
Here is the page
Today I am thankful for
- finding treasures that mean so much to me
- my Aunty Betty for taking Daddy away
- my parents- for hoarding all of this stuff and for giving me an utterly charmed childhood
- scrapbooking - I get so much joy from this hobby - it is a creative release, a way of sorting my memories and I always say - despite the amount I spend on stash - cheaper than therapy!
- elfin settling in to her new home ... she has now left hospital and is now set for her respite care to recover more fully