Thursday, July 08, 2010

Less is more

manor farm dispersal sale

The other evening, Pete and I looked through a suitcase of papers I’d brought back from Wensleydale last year. Most of the stuff in there was to do with Pa. There were records of the prizes his cows won at the Dairy Show, appreciative letters from his employers, the 1958 brochure for the dispersal sale of the prize-winning herd he’d built up, and so on and so on.

Pa with trophy

We found some things we had never seen before – such as a letter awarding him a scholarship, a photograph of him in a school production, and one doing the long jump (mid-flight), and this photograph of him above, clutching a Dairy Show trophy. I don’t remember him looking like this - I was only 3 at the time. 

To begin with it was interesting and fun to look through the papers in the suitcase. I was curious, and then enthralled, and we plundered on, and then suddenly I had had enough, overcome with a heavy sad weariness at the weight of it all…the memories, the sadness of his huge successes reduced by a corporate decision to sell the farm, the transience of everything, the loss of our childhood, the fact that we would rather have our father back than any kind of treasure trove.


Anonymous said...

Oh Sue! So difficult, to deal with, memories of loved ones no longer with us. When I saw the photograph of your Pa, I immediately knew he was a close relative because you look alot like him (and then of course you wrote it was your dad).

I don't think there is anything I can say to make you feel better but I wish there was.

I hope you're feeling better since writing your last blog. Personally I don't think your Pa is in a place where he cares very much about the daily events that happened in life. I'm sure he wouldn't want you to be upset about them now either.

I'm sending a virtual hug with this message, Shafia

Sue Hepworth said...

Thank you, Shafia, that's sweet. I do feel better. These days, the sad feelings about my Ma and Pa sweep in and stay for half a day at most.