My mother was born on 13th August 1923, she would have been 90 today. This picture was taken around the time my parents were married in June 1943; she is nineteen and my dad twenty two. Just over nine months later my sister arrived into a still war-torn world. I know the shape of these events but none of the detail and now I will never know:
I was told little about her early life and knew too much of her decline. In the final months I was not even sure it was mum talking – she had been known throughout her life as Peg, sometimes Peggy but when she moved into a nursing home all the staff referred to her as Marian – her first and until then, unused Christian name, except the family always thought it was Marion with an ‘o’ and I think she did too; her birth certificate confirms the nurses were right. So the sign on her door said Marian; I don’t think I ever really knew who it was on the other side.
(The title for this post is taken from the book by Blake Morrison)