River Wissey Lovell Fuller

Going Downhill Fast

March 2002

Things to do as you get old

I' m starting to feel my age. Well physically I've been feeling my age for some time, but mentally I thought I wasn't too bad. I know others may well disagree. But that's their opinion and, as they say, (whoever they are) everyone is entitled to their own opinion. Several factors have brought me to this sad conclusion.

First, I find that I have to write things down now otherwise they get forgotten. Then the other weekend my wife and I went to visit one of our daughters, to see the home that she and her "future intended" are doing up, ready for the married bliss that we all enjoy. (Well I have to say that with someone, who shall be nameless, looking over my shoulder. If I try to explain that that wasn't quite the way I meant it, I shall just dig myself into an even bigger hole!) I'm sure however they are well suited to each other.

As we had to travel into their local town for the fitting of wedding suits, our daughter suggested that we went in her car. That was OK by me, as I'd just driven 90 miles to see them. As her fiancee was there for the fitting as well she said "You and Mum had better sit in the back." That's when it struck me. No longer is it me that's driving my daughters hither and thither in the back of my car, but they are now driving me around in the back of their cars!!!

To add to my pain we called in on our eldest on the way home for a bite to eat and say hello. (Well it's cheaper than Little Chef isn't it!) We were talking about when the girls were young and my daughter said "you used to bring us storybooks sometimes when you came home from work." "Did I ?" I said, "I don't remember that."

Then it struck me again; my Mother used to say that when I tried to remind her of something that had happened in the past.

Being struck twice in one weekend was too much of a coincidence to be ignored. So I have to face the facts. Not only are my joints going home but the old grey matter is fading as well! Thus I've made a belated New Year resolution to try and put on record what I can remember of my life, dull and boring as it may be, so that when the children, or may be even grandchildren, want to know about their family history they won't have the same problem that my wife and I had. When my Mother passed away last year, she was the last of our parents and when we finally got round to sorting through all their things, we were left with so many questions that cannot be answered as all that generation has now gone. Photographs that we cannot put a name to, letters and cards from people we've not heard of. Who lived where before we were born? And when did so and so move, and why?

It's strange, but when our parents and grandparents are alive, we don't always think to ask a lot of these questions because we always think, "we shall see them tomorrow or the next day." Unfortunately there comes a time when they will be gone and we shall not be able to see them tomorrow or the next day! So make sure you ask those questions before you find, like we did, that there is nobody to ask. Dig into the family history. It may not be sometimes what you expect, but that can make it all the more interesting. Everybody's life touches a lot of other people and sometimes alters others lives too. Like the time I was single and working as a locum in a strange town; I went to visit an old friend who was also working in that town, and met my future wife. But that's another story!!!


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