Heartfelt Reminiscing

We spent another hot summer’s day reminiscing and exchanging mutually beneficial emotional thoughts and feelings with Heidi – the morning at home, and the afternoon at Elizabeth’s.

Jackie packed up one of her splendid cold meats, cheeses, and salad lunches and we drove to my sister’s to enjoy it together with Elizabeth’s wine – a white for Heidi and a red for me.

Much of the memories I was sharing with our daughter-in-law were of our life with my son’s mother who died when he was 17 months old. She knew many of the facts but perhaps not all my thoughts and feelings.

Jackie was able to give Heidi her experience of and perspective on the six early years she spent as Michael’s stepmother.

At Elizabeth’s we were able to look up on Google and on WordPress 79 Ashcombe Road SW19. This was our first family home in which Vivien died.

“He Thought It Fun To Push Me Over” and “One Life Cut Short: Another Changed Forever” are relevant posts.

Michael and his team had built 130A Graham Road SW19 in 2003. We looked this up on the same sources.

Later in the afternoon we led Heidi to the A326 to set her on her way home.

I watched the highlights of the last two days of the final Ashes Test match. Then we dined on Jackie’s cumin-enhanced cottage pie served with firm carrots and broccoli, and tender runner beans with which I drank Saint-Chinian 2017.


  1. You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers, Derrick. Our autumn rains appear to be starting early this year, and I will be planting Michael’s cedar tree soon.

  2. How lovely for you to enjoy another day spent with family and reminiscing about Michael.

    I still cannot get used to the south of England having such lovely weather when our days further north are becoming autumnal. Apple pies and crumble and Jam and pickling time for the remainder of the month.

  3. Since I first read that post I have often thought of you and Michael surviving the horror of Vivien’s sudden and devastating death. When relating these events in our lives we tend to be very English and give the facts – but there are traumas and emotions and deep and terrible griefs and guilts and hurts involved in these events that take years to process and resolve. I think we learn to live with these scars but sometimes they get reopened and if we don’t want them to become festering wounds again sharing our thoughts and feelings with those who want to know and whom we trust deepens relationships and the shared journey. I’m really pleased to hear you have had this time with Heidi and send you all much love and empathy. xoxo

    1. I have to second Pauline, who has said it so well. If there is anything I know about grief, it’s that it can’t be rushed along. You have to sit with it, talk with others, do what you’re describing, and take the bitter with the sweet. I wish you all well.

    2. Thank you so very much for such perfect understanding, Pauline. Jackie has just observed that Heidi and I are the two who knew and loved Michael best and longest. In a way that was a theme of the weekend.

  4. how great to find what you needed on line like that – and dont have time to check the linked posts now = but will try to get the backstory later

  5. This brings the tears flowing. Oh, what an emotional, but beautiful day sharing memories and feelings and creating NEW memories.
    What a sweet photo of Michael! Love that smile!
    He grew to be a handsome, amazing man. And he was taken from all of you too too too soon. πŸ™
    My Dad’s mum died when he was 4 years old. She died in childbirth, and the baby died, too. My Dad had one older sister. Their Dad raised them as a single dad for awhile, but then remarried at some point and had 2 more daughters. I remember my Dad talking about his little-boy memories of his mum.

      1. Yes, it’s so very sad. πŸ™
        My dad had very few memories, but he and his older sister (2 years older than he) did remember struggling with “Where did mum go?” “When is she coming home?” and such. πŸ™

  6. Too often we (men in particular) can hold back our thoughts and feelings after a tragic personal event, mostly to our long term detriment.

    Heidi’s visit no doubt was beneficial for all of you and it was great to hear of you sharing your memories together.

    Congratulations may be in order for your cricketing team who proved to have the best of the last 4 days – overall! πŸ˜‰

  7. Thank you for sharing that story back in the 2012 post. There is so much that we never hear and it is so important that we each have at least one story we can put a friend’s face to.

  8. Derrick, thank you for sharing this. Grief is such a universal feeling, but sometimes we never hear about if from other perspectives. Which makes us feel quite alone. There is much sorrow in our lives, but there is also much joy. Thank you for being honest and generous in sharing both. It helps us to know we are not alone in this world. I don’t know Jackie, but she seems to be a wonderful, kind human.

  9. Derrick, I had stepped out of the blogging community for the early part of this year and had missed the sad news of your son’s loss. I am so very sorry to learn of it. This past weekend must have bittersweet but hopefully sharing these memories was of benefit to all. I feel for you.

  10. Sharing with loved ones the heartfelt memories of bittersweet times is beneficial to the listener as well as the sharer. I’m glad you had a chance to do so with Jackie and your daughter-in-law. God bless you all. Michael was with you in spirit, for sure! <3

  11. Hugs to you and Jackie, Derrick, and to any of your family who might read this. I’m sure it was an emotional few days, but certainly beneficial for all. What a sweet faced baby!

Leave a Reply