11 February 2019
When my dad died in 2010, he had been in a Nursing Home for eleven months. His personal effects had diminished enormously. What remained from the family home was stored in our attic waiting for my brother to decide what he wanted.
He died before a decision was made and I have had little reason to consider what was left of his life and our family home. Recently, I began to sort it all out. It was a fascinating experience reliving my childhood.
There is an old tape recorder with a box of spools. I am singing treble in one of them. Three violins which my dad played all his life enlivening many a kirk soiree and Gaelic Choir ceilidh with his generous fiddle music.
And what’s this? A bag of cutlery and table linen – beautifully embroidered napkins and bone-handled knives and forks. The cutlery for fish are very distinctive and the old spoon which was used in the sugar bowl now looks like a miniature shovel.
An inconspicuous cardboard box yields an unexpected secret. The contents belonged to my mother. One who had a habit of giving her possessions away has carefully preserved a boxful of clothes.
Two white dresses – the one for her engagement and the other for her wedding day. There is a silver handbag and matching shoes, a veil carefully wrapped up in tissue paper and a silver cardboard horseshoe wrapped in a sachet of moth powder.
Her wedding day was clearly a very important event in her life for memories have been lovingly treasured in this box of clothes. She always used to say to us, ‘You were born in love’. What better gift can we give a child than this thoughtful affirmation of love?