This photo dates from about 1963. My dad was involved in building a big garage at the time and the bottom of the family garden was a bit of a mess. But this collection of visitors was clearly worth a photograph.
I look on it with a degree of sadness now, for only the youngest three shown on that picture are still alive and with it.
On the left we have my mum who died just a few years later. Next to her is Uncle Jack who I thought was a lovely man. He also died far too young. Then we have my mum’s older sister, Aunty Vera. She and Jack had the two little ones in front – Sue and David. Vera passed away in 2010. Sue and David are still with us. In the yellow dress we have my sister, Paula. She died very recently having just made it to three score years and ten. Grandad Ware stands next. He died before the 60s were out. Next is me and, guess what? I’m still alive and kicking. Granny Ware comes next. She was actually a step granny and always regarded as a bit gauche and awkward. Finally we have my brother who died aged just 33.
My goodness, it sounds like a tale of woe, but you know, I have enjoyed (and still do) a wonderful life. Of course, my mum falling ill and not surviving when I was a teenager had a big impact on me as did the death of my brother who was just 18months older than me. But between times, life has been good and mostly good fun too. I’m writing this before my sister’s funeral. I suppose I haven’t had time to miss her yet. She had been very ill and people of a practical sort of nature were relieved when she died. That sense of relief is still with me.
I still see cousin Sue from time to time. Cousin David and I have not crossed paths for years.
One thing is for sure. I don’t feel ready to be the senior member of the family. But I seem to be there!