lundi 14 septembre 2009

One of these things is not like the other one

I flew to the UK on friday evening to spend two days with my Mom, helping her finish off the packing.

She's moving house today and so I went on a last-minute mercy mission to help her go through the 30 years of accumulated junk, mayhem and memories. You can imagine how it went.

As always when clearing a house we found a cache of old photo's.

I looked at a photo of my Dad and his sister and something wasn't right.

"My aunt looks like she's got some black blood in her" I said to my Mom. Really, this girl looks nothing like the rest of the family in the photographs.

"Yeah, she was always dark skinned. And she never did look like your grandfather".

And so, we carried on working our way through the photo's.

"Who's this in the photograph with Nan and Granddad?" I asked. The photograph showed my Nan aged about 21, looking very elegant - beautiful, even. And she was with my Granddad, who was equally dashing. They were with a very handsome gentleman, and someone had written on the picture 'the boozers'.

"That's Mr. Frank. We always heard tales of him as Mr. Frank," said Mom. Seems he was a close family friend when my grandparents were kids, when they had just started dating. And it seems he was a permanent fixture in their lives until my Aunt was born.

Now, looking at the photograph and those that were in the same wallet, two things were crystal clear.

Firstly, Mr. Frank and my Nan were very close friends. There was no questioning the body language in some of those shots.

Secondly, Mr. Frank was a very handsome, very dashing, well-dressed, well-built gentleman of colour.

"Do you think...." I started.

"No" said my Mom. "No. It's not possible. Although. Oh. Oh! Do you think?"

She looked like someone had opened her eyes for the first time.

She stood up and started to giggle. "Oh my. Oh my oh my."

We laughed and laughed.

My Nan had made my Mom's life hell for a long time - nothing was ever good enough for her, and my Mother was certainly not good enough to marry her blessed son. She'd run the family like a power-crazed despot, whose only rule of law was that she was always right. She spun tales about her sisters, about her neighbours and was always there, ready to judge, ready to point out someone else's failings - especially my Mom's.

My Nan had been such a moral crusader, judgemental about the slightest thing, yet it seemed highly possible that her daughter was not her husband's offspring.

It's a shame that there's no-one around on that side of the family anymore. It's a secret that has truly gone to the grave.

If only we could get Jerry to give us a DNA test.

Alas, we're left to draw our own conclusions...and boy are we enjoying that.

13 commentaires:

Rob Inukshuk a dit…

None so blind as those who will not see....love the idea of your Mom's face when the penny dropped.

Daryl a dit…

Ah .. I am sure your mom is enjoying this tremendously ...

travelling, but not in love a dit…

Rob, it was a funny moment in a weekend of stress...you moved recently, you don't need me to tell you how stressful it is, right?

D, she's loving it. Lov-Ing-It. lol

Henry North London a dit…

Weird Had no one realised beforehand?

Anyway you must have had fun with it


I dread the day I have to clear my parents house...

A Lewis a dit…

Oh yeah, we've had that same conversation. I will never forget the day while looking at old family photographs said, "Hey, Uncle looks like he has some African-American blood in him." The room goes silent. Every head in the room leans in toward the photo for a better look. And my eldest aunt retorts, "No, he's from the children's home......" Oh for god's sake. I'm still giggling.

travelling, but not in love a dit…

Henry, it's a pain in the royal ass is what it is. Make them get a skip and start throwing things out now!

Lewis, that's pure class. Pure. Class. ;-)

Pure Poser a dit…

Legend story. To think all those times your nan was having a go at your mum and all she had to reply was 'At least I'm not a hussy!' ;)

Funny really, I don't look like anyone in my family...

cb a dit…

Nana liked the black dick! Nana liked the black dick!!

12ontheinside a dit…

Oh, that is just bloody tops. Awesome story and made me kack myself.

The Mutant a dit…

Tee hee hee, how cute, so - the question is, the fondness for exotic men, hereditary?

Alyssa a dit…

As someone who does get rid of anything, there is definitely not enough said about the importance of abandoning crap.

That said, you would have never discovered this great moment if it were not for collected stuff. Such a funny moment, thanks for sharing!

travelling, but not in love a dit…

Poser, maybe it's time you asked the difficult question...lol

CB - I love your mature approach to life. No subject too sensitive.

12oti - not literally, I hope...:(

travelling, but not in love a dit…

Mootant - erm, yes, a little...don't we all?

Alyssa, I hate accumulated crap. best to be ruthless if you ask me. But for every two things I put in the dumpster, my brother would rescue one of them...aaargh!