Yesterday I was searching through some computer files and found the following story, written by my daughter Imogen when she was eleven years old.

Gemma-Rose is my two year old sister who is cuddly and sweet. She has a lot of nicknames and sometimes she likes one so much she won’t answer to Gemma-Rose. One of her favourite names is Belle. She likes watching Little House on the Prairie. She sometimes likes to be called Mary or Laura because they are her favourite characters. A thing she likes to do is play Little House with her as Laura, Charlotte as Mary and Sophie as Carrie or Grace. I usually fill in for all the rest of the characters such as Ma or Pa. Gemma-Rose has a special nickname for me which is Cinderella. Gemma-Rose calls one of my brothers King Kong. She can’t say the k sound so it comes out as Ping Pong which makes us laugh.

Gemma-Rose speaks really clearly now and makes herself understood. This can sometimes get me into trouble. One day Gemma-Rose said to Mum, “Cinderella got a hole. I show you. Come with me”. And she took Mum’s hand and ran to my room to lift up my skirt and point to a hole in my brand new tights while saying triumphantly, “There!” Gemma-Rose is very intelligent. Once I needed to mop the floor and I was doing something so I said, “Gemma-Rose can you please get the wet wipes and the mop?” and off she went to find them.

I will never forget when she was born. Dad told Felicity in the night that Mum had gone to the hospital. The day before Gemma-Rose was born, Mum and I had been walking through a parking lot and Mum tripped over an edge of concrete. She fell and grazed her knee quite badly. We went into St Vincent de Paul’s (Bowral) to do some shopping and as soon as the ladies saw Mum’s knee they insisted on bathing it and sorting it out.

Gemma-Rose is really friendly although she pretends to be shy. She LOVES attention and she gets it. Everybody coos over her hair and her eyes. Her hair is platinum blond and her eyes are the most beautiful blue. All of our family have blue eyes. When she was a baby she wasn’t very well so we all carried her round and now when I look back, I think it is a wonder that she ever grew legs at all. This all goes to show that she loves attention and is used to getting a lot. So now she wants and seems to think it is her privilege to get a LOT of attention whether we like it or not.

When Felicity left home, Gemma-Rose to her surprise and joy, found that she was to have her own bed. We did some moving around of beds and Gemma-Rose and I ended up sharing Felicity’s old room. Gemma-Rose was delighted with her bottom bunk. But Mum thought she would soon be asking to go back to Mum’s room. Gemma-Rose used to wake up a lot in the night and it was Mum’s job to see to her. Now I have to put her back to sleep whenever she wakes up. I don’t really mind waking up in the night except when I wake up grumpy in the morning.

There are lots of ups and downs to having a little sister who loves you very much, like her seeking shelter from reprimands by running to you and you feel like a traitor when you hand her over for punishment. I love Gemma-Rose and I will not change her for a MILLION DOLLARS

Reading this little piece of writing made me smile. It brought back so many happy memories. I’d forgotten about the nicknames and how Gemma-Rose’s feet rarely touched the ground.

If Imogen hadn’t written her Gemma-Rose story, these happy memories would have faded away forever and I wouldn’t be sitting here enjoying them again. I wonder how many other stories have disappeared never to be retrieved.

A couple of years ago, I realised my recollections of some stages of my life were  getting a bit hazy. I suddenly wanted to prevent any more memories disappearing out into the void. So I started keeping a journal.  Now I have two and a half bulging files stuffed with entries and accumulated memorabilia such as birthday cards, letters, drawings. All those special moments, the amusing conversations, the ups, and even the downs, of the last two years have been captured forever in my memory book. Captured forever that is unless we are threatened by a bushfire. If flames are licking at the door will I run out to the car clutching my precious memories or will I abandon them? Probably I won’t even think about the books but will flee with what is really important, my husband and our children.

But with the approaching summer and the bushfire season, I have begun to think there must be a better way of recording our family’s story. Perhaps I can store my daily entries on a flash drive that can be picked up and put in my pocket. But what about the extras? All those cards and children’s drawings?

And does it really matter if we forget what happened in the past? At the moment? Probably not. But one day a great-grandchild might climb on my knee and ask, “Great granny, what was it like when you were a mother in 2010?” And I will get out my journals and share my memories and remember exactly how it was.
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  1. Nawww! What an adorable story! Gemma-Rose was gorgeous!!!
    She is such a pretty girl, and her sisters are too!

    God Bless

    1. Gemma,

      You've been digging through my archive! It's been a long time since I last saw this post. It's been almost 3 years since I wrote it. Isn't it fun looking back at old photos? I bet your mum has loads of gorgeous photos of you when you were younger. You are all very pretty girls!

      God bless!


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