Sunday, January 5, 2014

Book of Me, Written by Me - Prompt 19

Julie, from Angler's Rest has devised a series of prompts for a meme that will run for 15 months and this week’s prompt is –  

Who Do You Miss?

Having just gone through the Festive season our thoughts turn to those not with us. 

Whether that is people who live elsewhere and that we will not see over the festive season
People that have passed away.
Who do you miss?
Why do you miss them?
Them as an individual
Something specific to them

Christmas at Nungara Street circa 1973 - I am seated between my uncle and my aunt.  My grandfather is to the right of my aunt.

At Christmas time it is inevitable that I miss my mother who died 18 years ago.  Ghosts of Christmas past and all that.

Mummy loved Christmas.  Her passion for getting things "just right" tended to drive us all a bit barmy.  She always wanted a bigger tree, a bigger turkey and inevitably burned the midnight oil cooking or preparing something.  We were all emotional wrecks by the time the season was over but my goodness did she put on a good show and a fabulous feast.  Yes, I can do without the stress but of course I still miss her and all the hullabaloo.  

After my mother died I received beautiful letters from old school friends of hers.  They told me how much she meant to them and what they enjoyed about her company.  It was very kind of them and we keep in touch just once a year with mutual Christmas cards.  

This year, one of them very kindly sent me photocopies of old photos she had (many of the originals of which I actually have in my mother's old albums) but there were some I hadn't seen before and most precious of all, there were some descriptions of where the photos were taken and names put to faces - information that I could not know as it was well before I was born and before she met my father.  I am an only child and my mother was an only child, so relatives who might know are far and few between or long gone.

A 2nd cousin also reached out to me this week by email and provided (unasked) another precious photo.  

So let me show you my best Christmas gifts ever...

My mother would have been about ten in this photo and Shirley was just pregnant with Douglas who sent me the photo.  Thank you Douglas.  This is just precious.  Isn't Shirley pretty ?  

I've finally figured out who she reminds me of - she's just Cate Blanchett don't you think or vice versa?

The next lot are the photos I already had but now I know a bit more about them...

I now know that this series of photos was taken at Head of the River on the Nepean at Penrith.

My mother is the one with the Alice Band sucking on the straw

And this one was probably taken at Bundanoon

My mother is on the far right

And I knew this one was at the Blue Mountains but it's nice to know who is who now...

My mother is on the left

Last but by no means least I now know that this was taken at the Petersham Town Hall

circa 1951

The boys were from Hawkesbury Agricultural College - bless.

As some of the people in these photos are still living I won't identify anyone except my mother who in this instance is on the far right.  I think it's fair to say that she probably loathed this photo.  It's not the most flattering of dresses.  I suspect she couldn't wait for the 1950s to be over and was much happier in the more figure flattering Dior/Chanel style suits of the 60s.  

So there you are.

My mother may not be with us in the flesh but she is certainly with us in spirit through the generosity of her very dear friends.

Love you Mummy.

And thank you Laetitia.


Karen S. said...

What a gosh darn lovely story of you!

Alex Daw said...

Thanks Karen. I just had to share I was so pleased and excited.

diane b said...

You were very lucky to be sent those precious photos. "Photos are the pilot light of memories"

Alex Daw said...

Yes Diane - I am very lucky indeed. I like that quote Diane. It's a good 'un and a keeper. I shall endeavour to brandish that about whenever the opportunity arises.

Jill Ball said...

Having a context for your your photos makes them even more precious. Hooray for generous cousins.

Queen of the Tea Cosies said...

Aw Alex that's beautiful.

Kristin said...

I agree - photos (with information if possible) are the best gifts ever!