Tackling Those Memories
I got word from my brother this week suggesting that while he’ll enjoy reading whatever I write about our mother, he’s wondering if I’m going to be able to sustain this part of my blog over a long period of time. After my initial reaction of – you gotta be kidding, of course I’m going to keep it up – came the realisation he probably knows me too well. He definitely knows how much of a procrastinator I can be. How many times I’ve been meaning to get around to something, but never doing so. In this instance, I sure hope he has nothing to worry about.
I do feel it is important to share memories from an era almost gone from living memory. As well as providing a written account of our mother’s life which can be shared with her descendants, I hope to also give a little insight into what experiences someone growing up in 1920’s might have encountered.
I’m enjoying going through a heap of notes etc I have made while talking to Mum over a number of years. There are so many I haven’t even accessed yet, like the audio tapes, where I know I’ll be reminded of so much more she has shared with me.
We’re so lucky that Mum is a born story teller. I vividly remember her sharing stories of her childhood with us, especially on long winter nights while we huddled around the open fire. She would have us in stitches as we laughed over some of her memories. I’ll always consider myself very lucky she was interested in her family. She was able to pass onto me so many details of family long gone, and inspired my interest in genealogy.
I often watch the TV programmes of celebrities tracing their families and am astonished by how little some of them know. Many cannot even give the names of their grandparents. Unlike them, I have always known the names of four generations that have gone before me. Mum also shared many family stories about her grandparents’ lives in Caithness, Scotland and the Shetland Islands. I have wondered if it has been a Scottish influence that meant these stories were handed down through the generations. My father’s English family were much more of a mystery and a struggle for me to trace.
I’ve just found some poems in one of the exercise books containing pieces of Mum’s memories. Unfortunately all I have alongside them is a notation “English village fm tombstones C 1665” so I cannot attribute them to anyone. I think they’re lovely. I’ll share one with each post over the next few weeks.
“The ever rolling silent hours
Will bring a time we shall not know
When our young days of gathering flowers
Will be a hundred years ago.”