|Making cake at Tatty and Grandpa’s|
Last night Elodie found a bag full to the brim of pictures none of us knew were there. Lots are of Juliette so it’s an unexpected treasure trove – happy and poignant.
In the photo below she hasn’t seen the camera. Head like an eagle chick’s, she’s lined up her evening medicines on the shop counter and something is making her smile. That’s the one that got me in the chest.
A few weeks ago I was talking to another mother I know who lost her teenage son. She told me how lovely it is when photographs she hadn’t seen would appear from his friends, or she when she heard another anecdote about times she’d known nothing about. I have to admit to feeling a bit jealous, because this never happens to me. It’s difficult to explain if you haven’t lost a child, just how precious these little scraps of memory are. You hoard these, desperately, especially in the early years.
After nine years I thought I knew everything, had totalled the sum of Juliette’s life, but then I got a message from Emily. Lovely Emily used to help me with the children – she was with us when Juliette was diagnosed. She’d found a wonderful pile of old photographs of Juliette, Elodie and Pierre that I’d never seen. It seems to be a time of precious and unexpected gifts.