I got a message from my uncle today to let me know that he’d found a short video clip of my mother out of a stack of old Betamax tapes he had.
It was filmed by my Dad in 1986 when my mother was 29 and he was 28, in the living room of our old house.
I only possess a handful of memories of my parents together, as they split up in November 1988 when I was six years old.
Most of my small bag of memories of them together are really pleasant and then to be able to add this small, happy exchange between them to it means a lot.
My uncle was worried that it might upset me to see my mother – which is a fair call. She died in February 2015 and is still sufficiently raw enough in my memory for it to possibly cause some deeper upset. Everyone grieves differently and for some, this might have been too upsetting.
Not for me. I needed to see it.
I always remember after my Nan died in May 2000, my granddad looked high and low for a video of her he was convinced he had somewhere. He accused people in the family of either stealing the video or taping over it – which was the grief talking, rather than him. He was desperate to have something to remember her by in the physical sense – to see her alive one more time.
I have to agree – that was very much how felt too, except I didn’t even know that this video of my mother even existed to be honest; I truly felt like I had lost anything past photos of her and that I would never hear her voice again.
What a gift it has been to see her young, beautiful and happy – ignorant of what would happen two years later and secure in her married life.
I wonder, what she would have thought if someone told her that that video her husband shot of her would be watched 33 years later by her children and that, for them, it was in memoriam of her.