Sunday, 6 January 2013

Distant family, distant memories

The word distant feels sad to me. It has connotations of the un reachable; events, people and memories that have slipped through my fingers like the sands of time. I read a beautifully written article by my lovely friend at Sea psychotherapy recently about her views on hoarding and her reflections on its relationship to loss. I am certainly a complete hoarder of distant memories of distant family and it is just the loss of those times and loved ones that prompts my collection of snapshots of the past.

So many of my family are distant. We are separated by time and distance. As a child, I was surrounded by family. I have two bothers and a sister, my grandparents lived around the corner and there were Aunts and Uncles and cousins and distant relatives very close by. Now however the traffic was so bad before Christmas, that after 5 hours on the M25 we abandoned a trip to my brother's as we had not even got half way to his house (we did make eventually on another day) and my other brother and sister are so distant that I have not seen my brother since his wedding in 2006 after which he returned to Australia.

This picture was taken in January 1979, a life time ago and in the very distant past when we were all tiny. My Dad would have taken this photo, he was a collector of memories too. My sister was just 18 months, my UK brother at the back - age 6, my Aussie brother grabbing on tight to my shoulders was 4 and I was the grand old age of 8 years.

In July 2008, my sister returned to Australia and although I have seen her a couple of times since on her visits back to the UK, she remains part of my distant family. These are our little ones together for the last time before she left. Since this photo the gang has grown by four new members, with another joining very soon but we are separated by thousands of miles.

And there it is, just why the word distant feels like such a sad one for me.

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