looking back on or dealing with past events or situations.
So what’s happened in the last six months? My goodness, I almost don’t know where to begin but I will try not to ramble as I organise my thoughts and emotions as I bare all to you here.
Back in March, Peter (my husband) and I drove up to Stafford to meet my new-found family. We chose this location because it was the halfway point for both us. Although we could have driven there and back in a day, we decided to stay overnight so that we could spend the evening together. The weather was reasonable for the time of year and having arrived earlier than expected, Pete and I had some lunch and a drink together in the nearby pub before my new siblings arrived later that afternoon. I was starting to get nervous now, it was a big day and one that would, one way or another, have a significant impact on our lives.
Around 2:00pm my sister called to say they had arrived, would check into their rooms to drop their bags off and then meet us in the pub. Now my heart was proper racing and, which I found really surprising, my husband was just as bad; “Oooh I’m quite nervous,” he said, “But really excited too!”. He had the widest Cheshire-cat grin on his face you’ve ever seen! Then we saw them…I cannot even begin to describe what I was feeling at this point. As I walked towards a man who looked just like our late father I could feel the tears start to fill my eyes…but I was determined NOT to cry. This was a happy occasion, right?! But as we embraced I nearly lost it as I could feel him trying to hold back the choking sobs too. We each embraced one after the other not really knowing what to say and yet wanting to say so very much. Here they were, finally I was in front of two brothers and a sister who I’d started to believe were a false figment of my childhood imagination. Unfortunately one of my yet-to-ever-meet brothers couldn’t not make it, nor could our youngest brother (the one I had grown up with). So we were still not quite complete but that would eventually change.
So why I have I posted this under the prompt ‘retrospective’?
Simply because we had an awful lot of the past to look back on deal with. As you can imagine we each had a thousand questions, some of which we knew we would never know the truth about because the answers had gone to the grave with our parents.
Dad and their mother had broken up when my eldest brother was about 10, and the youngest about 18-24 months old, so he never knew Dad and sadly nor did he ever get to meet him 😪. I told them about what life was like growing up which, unfortunately, wasn’t all that great for a number of reasons; mother’s ill-health, the racism that they, and my youngest brother and I had to endure which as an adult I came to understand must have been even worse for Mum and Dad back in the 50’s and 60’s.
We talked about our respective families; our children, grandchildren whilst all the time trying to get our heads around just how weird, but awesome finally finding each other was. Meeting up was fantastic! One of the things that really touched me during the evening was when my brother Paul Snr (there are two Pauls!!!) said “You can tell she’s one of us” – honestly, that made my heart swell😁. Here I am sat next to my brother Tony, sister Maxine and brother Paul (Snr). It really didn’t take long to feel like family.
We got on like a house on fire talking into the early hours of Saturday morning and then meeting up to have breakfast together before heading our separate way. We all had a lot to process but the hardest part had been done. We’d met, we’d got on and we wanted to make sure we were part of each other’s lives.
This one is my family with my wonderful husband Pete
The meeting was all too brief as we literally have a lifetime to catch up on but we would be seeing each other again soon. We have much more to look back on though we’re all very level-headed (which is amazing considering our childhoods!) and as hard as it is sometimes, we know we have to leave the past where it belongs and keep looking forward with joy to these new and constantly changing chapters in our lives.
Yesterday has gone, and no one can change it.
Today, well, as Psalm 118:24 says
“This is the day that the Lord has made;
let us rejoice and be glad in it.
And tomorrow? Tomorrow is a new adventure. It has a blank page waiting for us to add to our story, how very exciting!
God bless you all and your families, however they are made up and cherish all the simple joys in life ❤️🌷🤗
ps. I couldn’t find my glasses 🙄 so please forgive me if there are any typos