Friday, 4 November 2011


Making cake at Tatty and Grandpa's

Last night Elodie found a bag full to the brim of pictures none of us knew were there. Lots are of Juliette so it's an unexpected treasure trove - happy and poignant.

In the photo below she hasn't seen the camera.  Head like an eagle chick's, she's lined up her evening medicines on the shop counter and something is making her smile.  That's the one that got me in the chest.

A few weeks ago I was talking to another mother I know who lost her teenage son.  She told me how lovely it is when photographs she hadn't seen would appear from his friends, or she when she heard another anecdote about times she'd known nothing about.  I have to admit to feeling a bit jealous, because this never happens to me.  It's difficult to explain if you haven't lost a child, just how precious these little scraps of memory are.  You hoard these, desperately, especially in the early years.

After nine years I thought I knew everything, had totalled the sum of Juliette's life, but then I got a message from Emily. Lovely Emily used to help me with the children - she was with us when Juliette was diagnosed. She'd found a wonderful pile of old photographs of Juliette, Elodie and Pierre that I'd never seen.  It seems to be a time of precious and unexpected gifts.


  1. How marvellous to find all these new memories, even if they are bittersweet. Good to see you blogging again too - I was missing my ATPHF fix!

    Much love,

  2. It truly is, such a gift to find them. Thank you GK. x

  3. I too have been looking at old photos today. But actually none of them touched me as much as the picture of the little girl looking at her medicines. Love to you, Pxx

  4. Juliette is so gorgeous, so beautiful. I love the way she's looking into the camera on the top one. How special to find new photos.
    Sally xxxxx

  5. Thank you Petra, and Sally. xxxx

    I found it a shock seeing her bald, and with her hickman line still in. We were so used to it at the time. Her hair had grown back quite a bit by the end. I love that my mother's apron comes all the way to her feet! She was such a little person, with a very wise head.

  6. Aww, what a proper poppet she is.

    I don't feel this about photos though. I have some out in frame in the house, but I can't bear to look on the laptop. Someone dropped an envelop of their shots through the door, and I haven't even opened them. One day perhaps...

  7. It takes a certain mood to want to do it, doesn't it? I kept all Juliette's clothes and toys with a friend and it was a long time before I could look at them properly.