Loving words from the heart
IAM in a bit if a dilemma – a happy one, mind you – but a dilemma nevertheless. Even before going away on holiday, to celebrate my 80th birthday, I had received several cards, posted early so that I could take them with me.
More had been put through our apartment door, or handed to me, along with others, to await my return home.
Now, like most ladies (and perhaps some gentlemen) I am extremely sentimental and find it difficult to throw away those loving birthday cards I have received from close family over the years.
Before we left our bungalow for our new apartment earlier this year I had steeled myself to donate to charity any possessions that my family didn't want.
Business Cards From Only £10.95 Delivered www.myprint-247.co.ukView details
Our heavyweight cards have FREE UV silk coating, FREE next day delivery & VAT included. Choose from 1000's of pre-designed templates or upload your own artwork. Orders dispatched within 24hrs.
Terms: Visit our site for more products: Business Cards, Compliment Slips, Letterheads, Leaflets, Postcards, Posters & much more. All items are free next day delivery. www.myprint-247.co.uk
Contact: 01858 468192
Valid until: Friday, May 31 2013
My grandsons had very kindly offered to recycle any old bank notes – but we said that we were OK with those.
Looking back, I can't recall what happened to all those birthday cards I must have received as a child – I suppose I just didn't bother to keep them.
But I do remember receiving my first Valentine card, when I was about 14 or 15 – but that went straight on the fire.
Apart from my little brother, who I loved dearly, I thought that boys were smelly creatures – usually with snotty noses.
When I got married in 1951 I didn't even keep the wedding cards or telegrams.
How many readers, I wonder, now remember Post Office telegrams?
During both world wars they were often harbingers of bad news – but they were also sent on wedding days, for the best man to read out at the reception.
Well, as things turned out, I never kept any of those either.
In fact, I only started keeping cards when I received my very first Mother's Day card from my son.
He was at infant school then, and had obviously copied the message "I love you, mummy" from the blackboard.
His teacher, at the time, Mrs Sykes, of Kelston Road infants school, had drawn the lines for him to print his message on.
Although I knew all that, his proud little face when he brought the card home for me brought tears to my eyes.
As the years went by and my daughter was born I carefully saved every homemade Mother's Day card – as well as the birthday and Christmas cards.
George, my then husband, always got a better one than me because, being a stay-at-home mum, we would spend ages making his cards.
How the children enjoyed it with lots of sticky glue – somehow two young children seem to increase the stickiness – sparkly bits (the more the better) and even, on one occasion, jelly babies.
George always sent me loving cards at Christmas and on my birthday, and I always kept them. Then there were the cards I received when my children married – jointly signed of course – marriages which happily led to the birth of my four grandsons.
Now my collection was growing at quite a steady rate – the first ones written by mummy or daddy and then, later, those lovely baby scribbles began to arrive.
When I left my last house in Keynsham, after being widowed, I just couldn't bear to throw any of the cards away.
In the end they went into storage, along with my furniture, until I found a bungalow to live in.
I had plenty of room in my new home since I was then, sadly, on my own, and I used to take them out and look at them in the evenings.
I still cherish the last note from my mum, left to me when she died, and also the last letter that dad wrote to me before he died in 1957.
Unfortunately the last note George left me, after leaving for work one day before I had woken, was taken from me when I was robbed of my handbag in a Weston-super-Mare bowling alley the day after Princess Diana had died.
I had kept the note in my purse and losing it felt worse than losing my money. I could, after all, replace that.
The note was funny, loving, and typical of our marriage.
Even though the thief was caught, I didn't get my precious note back.
Nowadays, when my birthdays come around, I am put to shame by the beautiful handmade cards I receive from my friends.
I just couldn't compete, even with jelly babies.
So what will I do with all the cards I receive for my 80th birthday?
Although I faithfully promised Derek there would be no more hoarding I'm afraid it will probably be one promise I won't keep.
They will, no doubt – along with my photo albums – join the ones I couldn't bear to throw out.
Every birthday, Christmas, and Mother's Day, I put out the last cards I received from my daughter, Julie, who died in 2006. They were always so loving.
Julie is sadly missed, and always will be, until we meet again in the Great Hereafter.
But her cards remain a comfort.
Take care and God bless, Marion.
PS. One of my grandsons – I can't think why – sent me a funny birthday card showing the cast of TV's Coronation Street saying "There's always gin".