I have always had an uncanny memory for birthdays. I don’t know why I retain the information, I just do.
I awoke this morning and saw it was July the 14th. Uncle Alan’s birthday. He passed away more than twenty years ago.
When I first joined my husband’s family, it was here I met his uncle. His voice boomed above everyone else’s. A man with a great sense of humour, who adored his wife, Joan. She was his opposite, a quiet gentle soul, who, later in life suffered from Parkinson’s Disease. She couldn’t hold a cup in the end, and Alan did everything for her. It was sad to watch her deteriorate, and she passed away in 1999.
A prolific and wide reader, Alan loved his garden, and he and Joan enjoyed many holidays and walks. Although big family people, they never had children of their own. Alan devoted his life to his darling Joan as she did to him. He never recovered from losing her, and two years later, he passed away.
I’m the keeper of family photos and as the generations above me passed on, their albums came to me. I scanned each one, and it took over three months to do. Now they are easily accessible to those who want to browse them.
Today I looked through Alan and Joan’s, and it gave me a real sense of who they were, and the lives they led. There is no one left to remember them now, only us and our direct family.
Never forget your loved ones, and how they influenced your life. Celebrate them, with stories of how they lived and what they did. That way they can live on in your family forever.
Here is a small selection of Alan’s life, as I celebrate his special day.