Saturday 17 February 2018

Blackpool Rock

Lotty asks 'how excited are you to be a grandad between 0 and 100? 0 is not bothered and 100 is total loss of control with excitement.'

I pause, this could be a potential trick, there may be a right answer.


She comes straight back, 'Ok, I'm 92 at being an aunty'

We are all anticipating the imminent addition to the family, little girls chattering with excitement at being aunties, giddy about what they're going go do and the plans they have. Generally fizzing.  Conversations turn to birth, how long, when will it start and what will happen.

I tell the story of my brother's birth, then of mine and we talk about the friend who gave birth in a police van we go on and on. All the stories are lapped up.

But then the conversation stops. The stories I want to tell aren't there, their stories. I can't tell if they are thinking the same.

I know dates, weights and locations. No more. I can't join those dots to make a story though. I've some photos for some of these little aunties to be, but not much. I feel robbed of the story of their arrival into this world, the drama, the excitement.
I look at the Giddy Aunts and feel a deep sadness for the lost days. I didn't make a panic dash to hospital, or get a call to come now.  That I didn't walk nervously our of hospital with them, hold them close in the first hours of life, nervously worrying about what lay ahead. Those joys and fears belong to strangers, they're all lost to us, they're lost to them. We've no stories to share and their absence is louder than ever today. I'm not sure they see the gap, not today anyway.

A missing story seems sadder than a sad story.

Like words in Blackpool rock there sometimes seems to be sadness running through our lives that cannot be extracted.

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