My Family & I
Like any other Dad, my Family members are important to me.
I have a daughter, Liz, and two grand-daughters, Ceri-Anne and Milly. I count my son-in-law, Ower Ian (he’s from T’North), as part of that Family. And my dear wife, Rosie, is such a comfort to me.
Ceri and Milly went down to see their Mom’s first husband a week or so ago. He lives in Clacton, Essex, and the pair travelled down by train. Ceri claims she’s grown-up enough now to be able to take her sister all that way safely. Ceri is nineteen, Milly ten.
A few days ago – in search of a much-needed rest – Ian took Liz up North to visit his folks for a few days. They come back either today or Saturday.
So, here in Wales, Rosie and I have no immediate Family nearby. We have kept in touch, of course, by texts.
But we know that they are all within driving distance: Liz and Ian about four hours away, and Ceri and Milly about twice that long. There are trains and busses, too. If necessary, we could get to see them fairly easily, then.
They’ve been away like this before. But this is the first time my mind has wandered to the time when I was absent from my own Mom & Dad and Family. That was when, as a soldier, I was sent out to Malaya to defend the British Empire against the creeping Communist menace.
And Malaya is ten-thousand miles away from Wolverhampton.
Mom and Dad must have worried about me – though Mom would have fretted a darned sight more than Dad. She could not have even considered coming Out East to see me if she thought it was necessary.
My parents never had a car; they could never have hopped into their vehicle and been chatting with me face-to-face in less than a day’s driving. There was no train – nor bus-service from Wolverhampton to Kuala Lumpur. We had no mobile-phones in those days. All contact was by letters, and they took a week to travel.
The distance between us would be pretty scary when they sat and talked about me – and that would have been often.
Me? I hardly felt homesickness, callow youth that I was. But I was certainly relieved when demob came and I went back to the cosy love of my Family.
So, knowing the closeness of our little Family, all of whom will be safely back in Wales shortly, is a true blessing. And that closeness is born of love, anyway.
Thanks, Family – you are a great joy in my life.