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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  1. Wow Jon does look like his father doesn't he x

  2. awww that's nice, glad theres a picture of them now so the kids can know what their other Grandparents look like. Can't believe how much Jon looks like his dad xx

  3. I really love this post! My kids are very close with my mom/step-dad and my dad, but they have other sets of grandparents (MY grandparents) who either live far away (so aren't a prevalent presence in their "everyday" life) or simply aren't a part of our lives. My dad's mother died before I was born, a horrid, horrid battle with breast cancer, and I often ask family about her, to "know" her in some way. My dad's dad is still alive but I've never met him or seen what he looks like - he left my dad's family (of seven!) when he was a teenager and he had to drop out of school to help his mom take care of the family. My husband also doesn't associate with his mother (whom I've never met either) after she did basically the same thing - left their family for another man. It's tough because I completely understand why my dad / my husband chose not to associate with these people who hurt them so much in the past, but I still think it's sad to have these "pieces of OUR history" (if you will) right there and to not be able to utilize them. I'm glad my kids do have these great, positive influences of their grandparents, but can't help feel like they're missing out a bit by not being able to know the other grandparents they have around. :-/

  4. Ah such a nice post that hits close to home for us too. My husband's parents are also no longer with us, I also never had chance to meet them. We have a photo of them on their wedding day along with other 'family' photos for our daughter to see. Our little one looks so much like my husband mother it's uncanny! We love them dearly as my husband has taught us all about them and shared his childhood memories xx

  5. I love this post too. It's lovely that you are making them part of your children's life even though they have gone xx


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