31.

As I sit crying, with a glass of wine and a cup of coffee, some Netflix original twittering away in the background, I realise that today is a day for reflection. I just picked out the photo album we recovered from my grandparents’ mass of books when clearing out after my grandma passed away. It has a host of photos of my earliest days, photos I didn’t get to know of until I was well into my twenties. Looking at that little squidgy face and imagining that it became me is a strange sensation.
I picked out one picture in particular, a beautifully framed shot of my grandfather holding me. We look at each other in a mixture of shock and awe. It was one of two occasions I would ever see him cry, the second being when Sinatra snuffed it.
On the reverse is the name of the subject: Paul, and the age of the subject: 23 hours. Beneath it is a note in my grandma’s handwriting, suggesting the comment I would make if I wasn’t busy soiling my nappy with Marmite and trying to work out how to crawl back into a womb sometime soon:
“Grandpa, will you tell me about life assurance when I get bigger?”

There’s something so incredibly her about the comment that I began to cry. It’s like a message from her, from beyond this mortal realm. I don’t believe in an afterlife or ghosts. I do believe in words and I do believe in memories. I’m going to spend much of today alone, thinking about them and thinking about you, what a jolly thing to do.

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2 thoughts on “31.

  1. Paul, you like me treasure memories, we reflect, we feel, we laugh, we cry for those passing moments that impact our lives. I still have that picture of you, Laura and Mike holding ‘we will miss you’, on display in my living room and it still makes me laugh and cry at times past. Shalom my friend! Shalom!

  2. As I now sit here crying, thinking back to that photo being taken in the hospital where you were born, it fills me with so much joy and sadness. The joy of seeing how you have grown into an amazing adult and sadness that your grandparents are not here to share your successes and achievements. They would, like me , be so proud of you x

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