Backwards and Forwards …

I’m just taking a breather from going through box after box of my late parent’s ‘stuff’ which has been living in our well-named ‘box-room’ for the last few years.

I’m extremely fortunate that my father had a huge interest in photography whilst Mother was big into writing.  So, it’s like having a family, as well as a social,  history in words and pictures at my finger tips.

I was more than surprised to find a little note that I wrote to Mother when I was about six. It’s written on what looks like the middle pages of a small note book and and has Mama on the outside. Here’s the note itself:

I know I was about six because of the reference to Frecky, or Freckles, who was one of a litter of pups that our lovely Dalmation, Beauty, had when I was that age.  The arrival and departure of those puppies was one of the biggest events of my childhood.

Not long after finding this note to Mother, I came upon a photograph that Father took of me on the wooden swing that was just beside the  cobbled yard where the pups played.  We were living in Castleblayney, Co. Monaghan,  in the first Bank House of our family life.

They were happy, happy days and I can’t but smile at how I seemed to see twenty as being an absolute age away. I suppose it was, in many respects. Twenty certainly seems like a good while back now, though!!

I wonder if  Mother even contemplated the possibility that I would find the note all these years on. I’m just so glad that she did my bidding and kept it.

Happy Me, Aged 5 Photo: Frank Tubridy
Happy Me, Aged 6
Photo: Frank Tubridy



Author: socialbridge

I am a sociologist and writer from Ireland. I have worked as a social researcher for 30 years and have had a lifelong passion for writing. My main research interests relate to health care and I love to write both non-fiction and poetry.

14 thoughts on “Backwards and Forwards …”

  1. Precious to you, but also some of it is irreplaceable lost history Jean. When you consider how much ‘stuff’ must have been thrown out over the years by people, and no doubt still on a daily basis. I don’t know about Ireland but I know the Jersey Archive happily takes in most unwanted ‘stuff’ and they have years of sorting and cataloging ahead of them.

    1. Hi Roy, I’m glad to say that I have a ‘local historian’ of a son who will happily ‘caretake’ the social and family history material.
      Yes, we have local archives here, too, so they are never too far from my mind. Wouldn’t it be fascinating to work in such a place.
      Has to be said that shredders also have a role in this ‘job’ as well.

  2. I had a swing that looked so much like that in Hastings, Michigan. I remember it well but there is no photo. You’re lucky to have this. And the note. Your mother was thinking of you.

  3. How wonderful your mother saved the letter. We’re still working through all the things my parents left behind. It’s hard and often sad work to sort through a life’s accumulation, but it’s also heartening. Especially when a gem like your childhood letter is found.

    1. Laura Grace, many thanks for writing and it’s good to ‘meet’ someone who is also working through parent’s ‘stuff’.’ It certainly has the capacity to evoke just about every emotion imaginable. I went from crying to laughing over that note that Mother kept. No doubt you’re finding similar sorts of things. j

    1. Thanks so much Willow. Mother was like that, she saw preciousness in things that many others would see as rubbish. We were incredibly lucky to have her and to have all these memories now.

  4. So sweet, precious, beautiful, touching… ❤ After my dad's passing, I cleaned out his desk. Didn't find any notes from me, but did find many similarities with the stuff I hang onto… "daddy's girl" lol 😉 ❤ ❤

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