Monday, 8 June 2015

The People In The Photograph

A few weeks ago, Jon received a letter in the post from his brother which contained some precious family photographs - among them was a photograph of Jon's parents who sadly passed away quite some time ago.

Jon has never had photographs of his family since he left his hometown as everything went to his brother, so I'd never seen what they looked like before and was so struck by the strong resemblance Jon has to his Dad in the photo.

It seems so strange to me that this man, who looks so much like the man I love, is a total stranger to me who I never did and never will know.

That he and his wife are parts of my children's genetic structure - that their blood flows through my sons veins - that if it weren't for these people, I would never have the children I have.

I've always found it sad that my children will never have the chance to know Jon's parents - I grew up never having known my own Dad's father as he died when my Dad was a child and so I've always wondered about him. 

I remember everytime I visited my Nan's house as a child, I'd seek out photographs of my grandad and be so intrigued by them - trying to imagine what kind of person he'd been and what kind of Grandad he might have been to me if he'd had the chance.

And so, when this photograph of Jon's parents arrived - the ONLY photograph of them that Jon has in his possession - as battered and time-worn as it is, full of scratches and imperfections, I knew it needed to be put on the wall. 

Hung somewhere that the children would see it each and every day.

So that Jon's parents could be there as an everyday part of Tyne & Noah's lives in the only way they can - with the presence of their image in our home and the opportunity presented each time they see it to chat about them and for Jon to share his memories and anecdotes of them.

I wonder what kind of relationship they would have had, if the chance had been given.

Would they have been kind grandparents...the type to spoil them with gifts and naughty treats like my own parents do?

Would they have visited us often from their home in Newcastle? Would we have visited them a lot? Would they teach themselves how to use modern technology so that they could skype with Tyne like my parents have done?

I wish they'd had the chance to meet their grandchildren, but such is life and it can't be changed.

Instead we'll chat about them when we pass their photograph in the hall.

We'll use the grandparent titles we've bestowed upon them (Nana & Grandad Glass).

We'll talk about how kind Jon's mum looked and he'll share his memories of the day he cried when he came home from school to find she'd cut her long hair short.

We'll talk about how much Grandad Glass looks like Daddy and chat about his love for Newcastle United.

We'll ponder on whether either of the children have any resemblences to them.

We'll do the best we can to breathe life into them although they are long gone.

To make grandparents out of the people in the photograph.

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