Another link with my childhood was broken this week when a friend I have known since my early childhood rang  with the sad news that his wife of nearly sixty years had died.

She had been my Sunday School teacher when I was about seven and she was fourteen and we had remained friends ever since. She and Roy had been “sweethearts” since childhood and married young. They were always involved in church  functions, so we saw a lot of them.

Our house was quite central and my parents always had an open door for our friends. When I left home to start my nursing training my brother had just started his National Service, so my parents would have been quite lonely, but our friends still continued to visit. After my Dad died, and my Mum became increasingly housebound, it was reassuring to know that she would still have visitors.

In recent years our friendship has continued mainly by correspondence and the occasional telephone call.

So many links have gone now, my parents, my brother, aunts, uncles and cousins as well as a few friends. It would be quite sad, but I have been blessed with a long memory and have only to hear, or read,  an odd phrase and I am back with them all. They are all there  in my head ready to be recalled at will. I can see them all at the church social. My Dad organising the men in setting up the trestle tables, my Mum helping with the food, and my brother with his friends cooking up mischief.

My Dad died very suddenly and unexpectedly so I had no difficulty in remembering him as the big strong man he was, and it used to worry me , when I was looking after my Mum as she became more and more physically disabled, that that was how I would remember her.  I don’t. When I see her in my memory she is in her prime  and I see her laughing and dancing the Gay Gordons or a Veleta.

So when I “see ” my friends I see them as a happy young couple on their wedding day, or as happy parents with their lovely children more easily than as the elderly couple they had become.