“What you leave behind is not
what is engraved in stone monuments,
but what is woven into the lives of others.”
Pericles – Ancient Greek Politician, General and Statesman
495 BC-429 BC
I started blogging on March 1 2011 and for the next 365 days (with one or two exceptions) and well into 2012, I wrote a post daily. My intention was to leave something for my grandsons after I have left this world. They would hopefully then, get an insight into their grandmother’s thoughts and experiences through my writing.
I have written about growing up in London during the Second World War. How could they be expected to understand this part of my life if I didn’t tell them about it? And they needed to be told about the loving family in which I grew up. Little money, no luxuries but so much love to spread around. I cherish those memories and hope that I have passed them on to my children and their children.
I have told about the close relationship I have always enjoyed with my two sisters, even though one lives in London, England and the other in Los Angeles, California. With my living in Wellington, New Zealand could we live further away from each other if we had planned it? I told how we used to keep in contact through letters and the occasional (very expensive) phone call. Now of course, since the internet, communication is mostly via email.
In another post I told about my wonderful Father and his influence on my life. How he supported his three daughters telling them they could be and do anything they chose. How this filled us with self confidence that has stood us in great stead over the years. In fact, because of this grounding I have been able to do so many things over my life.
I have written about meeting my DYS (dashing young Scotsman) when I was 19 and marrying him a few months later. I have told of following him around the world with two small children in tow as he furthered his career. Of leaving one set of friends behind and making new ones wherever we went. And although the boys may well have heard of these travels from their parents their view of this part of our lives would naturally be different to mine. I have no way of knowing how my children really felt about being uprooted yet again to move to a new place. They both did seem to cope very well and have turned into two well rounded adults in spite of the disruptions in their lives. And in later years when we have spoken of this they assured me that they felt they had benefited from the moving around. And here I can insert one of my favourite words – They had what could be described as a peripatetic childhood.
I have written about Yesterday when I was Young and some of the happy memories I have of those times when the children were living at home and life was so busy. And then of the times after they had moved onto the next phase of their lives, and there were only the two of us to move through the next phase of our lives.
I have told about deciding to move away from the city to an idyllic place beside the water far from the madding crowd, and how, when things didn’t turn out as expected, we moved back to civilisation once again.
In my blog posts I have written about my Mother’s death , of my Father’s death and the ghastly time following the untimely death of my DYS (is any death really timely?) But life goes on and I have chronicled some of things I have done since being on my own.
I spent several months on three separate occasions playing companion to an elderly English woman. A great learning process and a fabulous area to live in and explore. If I win the Lottery I shall buy a ‘cottage’ there and spend our winter months in Sussex.
So while I am not writing a post every day now, I hope that I have succeeded in part in what I set out to do. The posts recording memories and activities will still continue as and when something comes up that I think somebody may be interested in hearing about. Currently I am researching how to put the posts into a published book for the boys. I imagine that will take some time. And I have just remembered, my daughter always tells friends when I am leaving their houses not to “worry about what she takes but what she leaves behind”. I hope I am leaving something special.
“To live in lives we leave behind
is not to die”
Judith Baxter, Blogger, friend, mother…
If you are interested in reading some of the posts mentioned above, here are the links:
- Memories are made of this
- For my sisters
- Ode to a sister
- Memories of my father
- Yesterday when I was young
- The busy years
- Paradise, phones and phrustration
- A winter week in the country