Thursday, 17 July 2014

Nasty surprises

I received the unwelcome news recently that my remaining nephew (my sister's oldest son) had died suddenly - at the relatively young age of 41.  I gather the cause was heart trouble, although I at least certainly wasn't aware that he had any sort of history of it.  That said, we certainly weren't close: in fact I hadn't seen or heard from him since the day of my sister's funeral back in November 2011.  Somewhat ironically, the only real contact I used to have with him was when I'd bump into him unexpectedly in the street occasionally - we were both at the time working in Stratford!

As far as I can make out, he hadn't really had much of an easy life.  He dropped out of school under rather mysterious circumstances which I never really did get to the bottom of, although I had my suspicions.  He had a failed marriage and then coping with my sister's ill-health in her final years must've taken its toll I would guess.  But as far as I could see he always seemed chirpy enough underneath it all.  My one enduring memory of him is of this poor little frozen kid on his moped, going round to our house to visit his grandparents!

It's had one rather unexpected knock-on side effect, though.  I've now inherited the family photo albums, which belonged to my father, then to my sister and finally to nephew and which his father very kindly put on one side for me to go and collect, realizing their sentimental value.  I'd previously borrowed a couple from my sister, back around the Christmas of 2009 I think it was, to scan in some of the old snaps of me (I haven't in fact got any of my own).  So now, with around eight or ten albums, plus boxes of dozens if not hundreds of loose photos, many of which I don't recollect ever seeing before, I reckon it's going to take me the rest of my life to finish the task!  Rather sadly in a way, I shan't then have anyone to leave them to - but then again I suppose I ought to take the pragmatic view that after my death it's really not going to matter much.      

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