When you’re the older generation

Yesterday I visited someone who I had been fond of; a strong, sweet, determined woman. We’d been tangentially related by marriage for a time (too complicated, let’s not go there – and not my story to tell). I visited as part of seeing some relatives. Today she passed away in that sudden-but-not-totally-unexpected way the 90+ sometimes do.

She was, I think, the last of her generation in that family, and certainly mine. Mum and Dad had me at 40, so I sit between generations. All the same, when Mum died 6 years ago I became, at 48, one of the older generation in my family. A history keeper, story teller, someone meant to remember all the threads and be able to tie them together.

It’s not a role I felt ready for then, nor do I now. I love scrapbooking so I’m a history keeper and story-teller in that sense. But the “who used to live where” and what was great Uncle Whatsit’s son called?” is beyond me. I’m not good with genealogy or remembering how distant relatives tie in. If, in 40 years’ time, I’m the old lady in the rest home and my great-nieces and great-nephews come looking for answers, I hope Google is ready – because I won’t be…

Shirley – Mum and Dad were very fond of you. You were always kind to me, and welcoming. Rest well.