For this week’s challenge, we ask that you, too, take something ephemeral and non-digital and bring it to your blog for all of us to enjoy and reflect on. Of course, not all of us have access to a collection of century-old journals. So let’s define “transcribing” as broadly as possible: you could share an old photo from your childhood album, or snap a photo of a handwritten note from your best friend when you were 11. Record yourself singing a tune that hasn’t made it to iTunes, draw a sketch of your favorite room in your grandparents’ house, or simply write down a memorable conversation that would otherwise be lost to time.
I am using this old photograph to share a family story from the past.
This is a scan of a photo of my mother’s family. My mother is the tall, dark one in the back. She was about fourteen when this photo was taken she told me. She looks older than the others I think but she was actually the second to youngest child in the family. Her two sisters were about sixteen and her brother would have been around twenty or twenty-one when this picture was taken. The little girl, mum’s younger sister, was about eight years old. The photo was taken around 1934 after the family returned from India where my grandfather was serving with the British army.
During their last year in India the family suffered a tragedy. Mum’s oldest sister Marjorie died after contracting malaria. She was twenty and I believe that she was engaged to a soldier.
The story about this photograph is that when the family first saw it they noticed that there was a white shape in the background roughly in the place where Marjorie would normally have stood in family portraits. You will notice that they have left a space behind my grandfather. They liked to say that Marjorie’s ghost was standing in her spot.
I can’t honestly say that I can see what mum could see in that picture but I think that all of them liked feeling that Marjorie was still with them and that is as good a reason as any to have a family ghost.