The last few days have been pretty difficult. Everything that seemed important has lost most of its meaning. Pretty bad poetry has been written and discarded, hugs and tears have been shared, projects have been embraced for their ability to distract.
But every family has one – a sturdy box, filled with photographs and documents. My grandmother died last Thursday morning after a long illness and at the weekend we opened the thick wooden box that had sat in the bureau of her living room for decades.
Amongst the envelopes full of stiff monochrome snaps, my deceased grandfather’s old driving licenses, 1930s telegrams and council house tenancy papers, was my grandmother’s birth certificate.
It says she was born in a Northampton maternity home, not far from the Abingdon Road. A maternity home that was later converted into an old people’s home. The very building where my grandmother was born was, completely by accident, where she spent her final years.
Shocked, Dad said that they had chosen that particular place to put her because it felt “like home”. I like to think she just came full circle.