Wednesday, 23 January 2013

My godmother's

husband has died. He was 87 so this was both a surprise and not a surprise. My godmother is 95 but her mother lived to 103 and she has a sister who is, I think 97 - or it might be 98. Her "littlr brother" is 92. They are a family of remarkable longevity. Still she married a cousin younger than herself and he did not outlast her.
They also moved not so long ago because they were finding it difficult to live in a house with steps and stairs. They moved quite some distance to be near their son - so he could "keep an eye" on them. I wonder now how my godmother feels about this. She is a long way from the friends she has acquired over the years and the activities she enjoyed. As she now lives in a remote part of another state I know I may not see her again. A journey there would be difficult. There is no public transport.
But, we can write and we can talk on the phone.
Her husband was an accountant, the chief accountant for a very large business. He spent his working life looking at figures. He spent a good deal of his private life looking at stamps. As children my brother and I would sit and listen fascinated as he told the stories behind the stamps he showed us. He was interested in not just the stamps themsevles but the history or the event behind them. It never made me want to collect stamps but it did add to my growing interest in history.
Apart from that he was a quiet, rather ponderous man - a distinct contrast to my lively, active godmother - a woman who never seemed to get ruffled and who handled many a medical emergency in the small town where they then lived. When they moved to the big capital city she built the same sort of relationships all over again.
I suspect she has made new relationships where she is now living but she will still be grieving. She can of course sometimes say to her son "remember when"... but there are things he is too young to remember...and things I am too young to remember. My mother, once her closest friend, is no longer here to share such memories either.
So, I am - when she is ready - going to ask her to tell me things instead.

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