Monday, 9 August 2010

A Glimpse into The Past

I've been in Cornwall staying at my aunt's house.  As she never married or had children, we're her "next of kin" and are now Executor's of her Will.  Jan never left home and so we have been sorting through not only her belongings but all my Grandparents things since they died over 15yrs ago.  It's been so sad, poignant and fascinating.  They kept so many interesting things including my Dad's 1st birthday cards including a Walt Disney one from 1942.  And so many letters.  It has given us a glimpse into the lives of our beloved Grandparents and aunt beyond anything we knew of when they were alive.

My grandmother did indeed talk about her younger days and about when she met my granddad.  We knew of our great-grandparents.  We knew that my grandmother worked for Garrads (the Crown Jewellers).  But nothing prepared us for the incredible documents we found.  A letter from my grandad's best friend fighting in WWII telling of his love of the French ladies as well as descriptions of catching German soldiers.  And so it goes on.

I'm overwhelmed.  There's so much still to do.  A constant round of legal processes, a funeral to arrange and Probate to sort out.  The list goes on.  I can't even begin to explain what my daily life has been like since before my Dad died.  It's an extraordinary life at the moment.  I'm exhausted.  I'm sad.  I'm grief stricken.  But I'm also happy.  I have hope.  There's something so amazing in finding so much history of my Dad's family.  Of our very beloved grandparent's.  So many sentimental things we've found.  Things that have jogged a childhood memory.  And more.

It all has to be catalogued and some of the antique items need to be valued for insurance.  There's a lot to do on top of everything else we're already working through since my Dad's death.  What we do know is that we're going to put together several scrapbooks of all the letters, documents and ephemera.  There's a story to be told.  A legacy that has been left.  My Dad, his parents and his sister.  Gone from this place.  Gone from us forever, here.  A whole family.  They deserve to have their story told.  And it is our responsibility to tell it.  To take those glimpses into the past and seal them forever so they can be passed on.


Sarah said...

You sound as if you are coping with it all Di, despite it being really difficult. And it must be absolutely fascinating to see all those things from your family's history. Take care, x

Jo said...

I could sooo feel your pain with every word, Di. But it must be so comforting too discovering such treasured family memories... with the bubbling desire to share and celebrate them.
I wish you continued strength as you sort out all the legal and financial practicalities - never easy!
Hugs xxx