Monday, 23 August 2010

Pocket Money

A letter came from the bank the other week addressed to my dad, which was a bit odd considering he died over twenty years ago. It is such a weird feeling to see his name on an envelope – even the pattern his name made on a page – official proof that he was a person, that he mattered enough in this life to have correspondence, that he was once here on this planet. When a person dies, after the dust settles and the years creep on, these small things become so big because it feels that the person only lived in family folklore.

The letter was because the bank had found another account belonging to my dad, so they wanted my mum to mosey along and officially close it. We were all a bit flummoxed – how come now, so long afterwards, had this account come to light? I was torn between being cross at the bank for not being thorough at the time and pleased at seeing my dad’s name. Perhaps my dad had kept secret savings for a rainy day – perhaps it would be a little windfall for all of us. We had to find the certificates that sum up a person’s life – two small squares of paper – birth and death. No clue as to what the years in-between had covered apart from here stand I. Do I answer the sum? Does my brother? It’s hard to know, isn’t it?

It turns out the grand total was £6. We laughed and shook our heads, but later I couldn’t stop thinking about it. It seems a very long time ago now that people would think of starting a bank account with five pounds. It made me think just how long he has been gone.

My mum shared the money between me and my brother. I took the coins and felt like I could never spend them. It might not quite be pennies from heaven but I do feel like dad has given me the last of my pocket money. I promise not to spend it all on sweets.

42 comments:

KarenG said...

How nice to see that. Who cares if it's a small sum. It is a bit of your dad.

Clair Humphries said...

Gosh, what a moving post and written so beautifully. Thanks for sharing this x

Hannah Kincade said...

Awww, that's so sweet. :D

Old Kitty said...

What a thing to recieve though - a letter addressed to your dad. It's a lovely message from him to you and your family!! Enjoy the coins - whatever you get, it's bound to be very special indeed!

Take care
x

Kittie Howard said...

Oh, Jayne, such a beautiful, elegant post. I imagined you staring at the envelope, your heart leaping at seeing his name, feeling the closeness of your father being there, right there. I hope you buy a sweet, sit on a park bench and savour the richness of your gift from heaven.

A Certain book said...

Oh, so poignant. I think a couple of sweets would be lovely. x

Boonie S said...

This is very thought provoking, very tender. And its obvious from the way that you write that your father left a very rich legacy, but not necessarily in pecuniary terms. Thanks for sharing item with us this today.

Best wishes, Boonie

Rachna Chhabria said...

What a sweet post Jayne. I am sure it took you right into the heart of your childhood, when even a few pennies were precious and seemed like a treasure.

music obsessive said...

I think a trip to the sweetshop is definitely on the cards. Let me see, a sherbert dab, a couple of penny chews and a pack of Man From Uncle bubble gum cards, perhaps?

Eliza said...

That must have been a shock, but I can understand good at the same time.
I think sweets or chocolate is in order, after all it is pocket money from your Dad.

Ariel Swan said...

What a lovely post.

Amanda said...

oh what a sweet story, jayne -- funny how these little reminders of loved ones just happen out of the blue....

xo

Fran said...

Nice story. Similarly, I was at my gran's this morning and thumbing through some old cookery books of hers. In there was a receipt for some things from the supermarket, dated 1991, and we laughed a lot at the prices, which seemed like play money.

Aubrie said...

This is a very sweet story. It reminds me of an old Christmas card that my mom found many years after my grandma died. She used to put money in cards for us, and this one had $100 in it. My mom cried when she found it, because she really needed the money at the time and she felt like it was a gift from beyond.

Laura Marcella said...

This is a sweet post. I think the bank's sudden letter was your dad letting you all know he's with you and thinking of you as much as you are of him.

Madeleine said...

Oh bless Jayne that's is so lovely.
very touching and charming.
Madeleine x

Hart Johnson said...

What a fabulous little moment! I love it when there is some feel of reaching across and contact with somebody who has been gone. You should spend it on some little treat that reminds you of your dad.

Talli Roland said...

Aw, what a nice reminder of your dad! Like he's saying: 'Don't forget me.'

Happy Frog and I said...

My dad did 22 years ago in September. I think I would have had very mixed feelings and emotions if the same thing happened to me. It's all so out of the blue. Thank you so much for sharing this with us.

Maggie May said...

That was a very touching story.
I think I would have kept the money too and never spent it.
Maggie X

Nuts in May

Alexandra Crocodile said...

That's so sweet! You should put the coins in a box and save them:)

Cruella Collett said...

Such a sweet story! I think it actually made for a better story that the amount was so little (even though it would have been nice if there was some cash in it for you), because of the pocket money aspect.

I loved this post :)

Elizabeth Varadan aka Mrs. Seraphina said...

Moving post. Make a necklace of the coins. Or a bracelet & earrings set. Something special to wear.

Medeia Sharif said...

That's beautiful. He is with you, still watching over you.

Ev said...

Lovely post. You should buy an ice-cream cone with it. A treat from your Dad My beloved mother died almost twenty years ago at the young age of 51. I still miss her dreadfully every day. I recently found a plastic 'Hickey's Fabrics' bag ( where she worked) and in it were the pieces of material she had cut out to make a coat dress for me before she got ill. I couldn't bear to throw it out after she died because I could still smell her on the cloth. Now sadly the smell has faded, but I can still feel her love in the fabric. Oh Mam! I miss you so much. I remember telling her when she was ill that I would never love anyone as much as her again. She patted my arm and told me I would. I did of course, my husband and my gorgeous children but not in the same way, not that burning childlike desire you have towards your mother, that need to make your Mam proud of you. Being a mother is the best job in the world.And Mam taught that to me, the greatest gift ever given

Robin said...

Thanks for dropping in on my blog. Not quite sure how you found me, but I appreciated the comment.

I really loved this post. I can't imagine receiving something in the mail for a parent who had been gone for so long. Definitely a bittersweet moment. Anyway, you wrote it very well. I was with you the whole time. I couldn't spend it either. I know I would tuck it safely away somewhere never to be spent. Horribly sentimental. Ah, but so it goes.

irishoma said...

What a lovely post. This is my first time visiting your blog, but I promise to return and read more. Thanks for becoming a follower on my blog, too.
Best,
Donna V.
http://donnasbookpub.blogspot.com

Jan Morrison said...

What a great story! I love that you think of it as the last pocket money from your dad!
I just popped over and will be popping back - love these transatlantic trips at the touch of a key! Jan Morrison

Journaling Woman said...

It is confirming to see his name again. Wow, I loved this line, "We had to find the certificates that sum up a person’s life – two small squares of paper – birth and death." Wow. There is so much in between, but it is fleeting.

Loved this post.

Thanks for stopping by my blog.

Teresa

Jules said...

Love the sentiment here. I still have the last dollar bill my grandfather gave me.

Thanks for stopping by and following my blog. I wish to return the favor. :D
Jules @ Trying To Get Over The Rainbow

Carol Kilgore said...

How nice. I would want to keep the money forever, too.

Lydia Kang said...

Wow, that was such a weird thing to happen. A sweet, late, little gift.

Anna-Marie said...

My goodness, what a moving story. I felt a little tear in my eye reading it. You told it perfectly.

Dominique said...

That's a very sweet story.

Al said...

I would hang on to the coins.
A bitter-sweet reminder

Deere Driver said...

Jayne,
Thanks for stopping On the Pond Farm and making yourself known. Love what I've read here so far. I'm an Englander too from back when. Born in Sheffield.
Rose

penandpaints said...

That's a really lovely post, Jayne, I love how your mum has shared the money between you and your brother.

Clara said...

Wow, this post really moved me so much!! This was brilliant, honestly, just, wow!

It's really sweet and gentle, loved it! And what a great thing to happen to you, life has its miracles. It definetly does.

Barbara Scully said...

Lovely story.... your dear dad sending you pocket money! Great

Talei said...

Gosh thats incredible after all these years the bank would make contact. I agree - keep those pennies, they are pretty special! ;)

Jackee said...

Such a sweet story, Jayne! My mom has a chronic cancer and I find myself looking at things through out my house that she's given me, wondering which--if not all--will become so precious to me. Momentos of my own pocket money! :o)

Jayne said...

Thank you all so much. I will reply to each of you here, as I so appreciate you taking time to say these lovely comments. It's rare I feel I can talk about my Dad; at school after he died the mere mention of his name would cause awkward pauses by so-called friends, and I guess I learnt to keep my feelings to myself. So sharing this here is an unexpected pleasure. :)