I just spent half an hour going through photos with my mum, looking for old school snaps of my sister for her leaver’s dinner. While searching for her, I saw hundreds of photos of myself. It was like seeing a quick succession of my life. There I was as a baby, then a chubby 10 year old, then a gangly 15 year old and finally a more womanly 18 year old.
Memories suddenly hit me like hail hitting the windscreen in a storm. There in frozen frames were Christmases gone by and birthdays and family dinners. I was surrounded by people I haven’t seen in years, people who are no longer here, or people who simply lost touch. What struck me the most were the family portraits – my dad, my mum, my two sisters and I. It was such a strange image that my heart caught in my chest. I haven’t thought about that family unit for a while now. And I don’t remember what I was thinking in those photos, though I don’t think I would have predicted the eventual breakdown of my family, despite the warning signs. I don’t think anyone does, really.
I got a bit teary because maybe things were different back then with my family. Maybe we were a tight-knit unit or maybe I was just one of those kids who wore rose coloured glasses. After all, isn’t reality more colourful when it is distorted?