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Posted 07-11-2011 at 03:37 AM by elf bazaar

You may have read in my first blog a little about me and my history and the fact that our Family Christmas Shop is a little beacon of light for us.
My Father passed away in 2004 at the age of 54 and he was the biggest inspiration to me and his love of Christmas and love of life has spurred me on, on many a bleak and dreary days.
Recently my Mum has been really struggling with things and I have desperately trying to stop her falling into the depths of depression, she has been feeling terrible empty and low and even though I have been trying to help her I know that it was something that I just could not fix.

My Aunt (on my fathers side) has recently returned from living in Scotland, she moved from the New Forest to Aberfeldy in Perthshire 22 years ago. As the area was better equipped for the well being and education of her daughter who was born with cerebral palsey.
Now Her daughter is 31 and the options and funding that were available has ceased and the area had become a very difficult place for them to live happily.
They decided to leave Scotland and return to Fordingbridge in the New Forest which is where all our family come from.
Excited at having them now living relatively close to us once again, I arranged for us to go and spend a long weekend visiting with them.
The journey down took much longer than the normal 3 hour drive but I could see how excited Mum was to be going, so I kept my normal complaints about the bloody traffic to myself.
From the moment we arrived it was as if the fog had lifted on mum and we spent the four days having the most amazing time, her old primary school is now a community centre and we were walked around by somebody we met completely by chance, who she went to school with suddenly all the stories she had told us of the school from when she was there, were coming out of this other woman`s mouth !! they had a lovely few hours of chatting and reliving!!.
After we left the school we wandered down into the small town and she showed me where this happened and where that happened, where she once had a shop and where her dog laid in the middle of the road and stopped traffic for two hours and nobody wanted to move him!.

After that we went into the pottery called Branksome China, we have tonnes of it at home, my dad had worked there for a few years from the age of 17- 22, however when he was 20 he had an accident with one of the machines and lost the top of one of his finger in it.
He was raced to Hospital and the police were involved and made the pottery give him some money as compensation, as he was under 21 at the time the judge insisted that his compensation money had to be put in a trust fund until then, he agreed to this but asked only for 50 of it to buy his girlfriend an engagement ring (my mother!). She still wears the ring now and never removes it.
We got talking to the people in there and they had been there for many years in fact the man there was the one hired to replace my dad when he left at 22 ( he would have been 62 this year) so when we mentioned his name the man was so excited he described him perfectly and told us how much fun he was, he then led us to a corner part of the pottery and told us to look up, my mum cried and cried, happy tears but bless her she cried.
There on the ceiling were his perfect hand prints and his initials, written in letters a foot wide. He must have done it before the accident as his prints were perfect and he had every digit.
I must admit I was in total shock and had an awful pang inside.
When my father died he wished to be cremated and we scattered his ashes on the mountains here, they have always been a special place to us but never had I felt that pang inside as I did at that moment.

When we left the pottery mum was so happy she said that she never felt as close to him as she did at that moment. She was happy she looked like a new woman and the sparkle was back in her eyes.
Since then we have talked and talked and talked about ifs and buts and hows, but we have decided that next year when the shop lease is up, we shall relocate back to the New Forest and back to the route of the family which we did not realise that we were missing so badly.
The Welsh have a word for the feeling "hireath" that can only really be described as "longing for" and "belonging" and "yearning" all rolled into one I have never really understood it until that moment and now I have experienced how it can make you feel and the impact it has on you.
We look forward to Christmas 2012 when we shall hopefully be back to where we belong.
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  1. Old Comment
    What a lovely blog. I hope your mum will stay feeling better. I can only imagine how sad she feels. I am also so sorry about your father; 54 is just too young.

    The wonderful thing is that you have come to realize how much you and your family miss one another. That is such a treasure. I did not figure out what family meant to me until it was almost too late.

    I hope your shop continues to do well. You have some lovely things !!

    We are so glad to have you as part of our family, our Christmas family.

    Posted 07-11-2011 at 12:16 PM by caninemom3 caninemom3 is offline
  2. Old Comment
    elf bazaar's Avatar
    Thank you for your comments, I am lucky to have learnt the importance of family, but it sadly only hit me when my father passed away, 54 is far too young and cancer is the most wicked disease it was very cruel and took him from us. We do not live our lives wallowing in the sadness of it though as he would have hated us too, instead we embrace life with all its sunshine and rain (mainly rain, it rains alot here in Wales!!). We hold Christmas and family true in our hearts and thats what makes the sun rise each day.
    Posted 07-12-2011 at 01:49 AM by elf bazaar elf bazaar is offline

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