Grateful for photographs, memories & shared experiences

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As I’ve mentioned before, I’m terrible with photographs – I take millions but apart from uploading them on the blog or FB, I rarely do anything with them.  I have them stored on the lappy, 2 hard drives, 3 USBs, the iPad, a couple of photoboxes and, of course, my iPhone.  I was grateful for  My Pigeon Pair’s post yesterday on the topic which made me feel less like an archival failure! Photo organisation is definitely on the holiday to-do list.

Despite my haphazard storage of them, I was ever so grateful for photos this week when the Wilful One started asking questions about his great-grandfather. My mum’s dad died when I was 8 months pregnant with him so they never got to meet.  Questions about Great Granddad Fred led to questions about death and what happens when we die and ultimately the Wilful One’s realisation that he will one day die too (OMG those words are hard to write!).  I have to admit I was slightly taken aback by how upset he was, as we have discussed death fairly openly with him up to this point, having lost a few furry and finned members of the menagerie over time. He knew that death also came to people but I don’t think he fully comprehended the gravity of the situation before now.  

I must highlight at this point that the conversation happened at a particularly bad time.  The eve of The Man’s first night away, after a late night home from daycare and with a hysterically over tired Bam Bam present.  Serendipitously, my BFF and I had only recently discussed her own daughter’s reaction to death and I gratefully drew on her experience to piece together an explanation for the Wilful One that gave him some measure of reassurance and got him off to sleep. He was comforted by the knowledge that even when someone is gone we still love them and hold them in our memories and hearts.  

The next morning we looked through the multitude of photos and found some pics of Great Granddad Fred and also the boy’s great grandparents on The Man’s side. The Wilful One yet again stunned me by his maturity and asked if the photos could be put in his room so “I can look at them and aways remember”. I am shamed by (yet grateful for) this request as it is a task I have been meaning to do since his birth – I even have the empty frame still hanging in the ex-nursery. Slackest. Mother. EVER.

And to my dear Granddad Fred, I miss you so much. You would be so proud of this boy and I promise through my memories and photographs they will both know who you are and will love you like I do.

 

 

 

 Linking up with Maxabella Love’s Grateful for… hosted by Lemon Rhodes.

Gorgeous family tree image via We Heart It

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Farewell Fishy…

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Today we said goodbye to a special little friend. Timmy the Fish was Will’s second Siamese fighter & has done well to last nearly 2 years of fishy-ness in our house (we have a bad track record).

I was a bit apprehensive about breaking the news after Will’s first fish (aptly named Finley) died. He can be a bit of a sensitive little thing, but I am against doing what an astonishing number of people recommended which is replacing said fish with a close replica and pretending nothing happened.

For one, my son has a rather sharp eye for detail and would be onto me in a flash. Secondly, I think it’s important that children understand death and learn to cope with loss.

After the demise of Finley, my MIL arrived within hours of the event – new fish in hand. I was really disappointed with this as I felt there has been no time for Will to grieve and move on.  The fact that a life (even a fishy one) is so dispensable and easily replaced is not a lesson I am keen to reinforce.

But my boy surprised me, and although happy about his new fish, accepted that it didn’t fully take the place of the first.

This time around he handled it very maturely once again. He insisted on digging the hole to bury Timmy himself (a painfully slow process for such a little fish) and even said a few little words without prompting “Timmy, you were a good fish. Very pretty. I will miss you”.

I’m very proud of my boy. And yes, we will be getting another fish. But maybe not until tomorrow.

 

 

Image from We Heart It