Oliff’s Life

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In February I wrote in this column about the people who come in and out of one’s life and how I wondered how they are now.

My late wife’s sister was the inspiration for the piece after seeing an old photograph of her in an album of mine.

Imagine my surprise when I received an email from the Editor telling me that her husband Paul had been sent a copy of the article by a relative from Kettering.

Having read it he’d sent an email to the Editor attaching a personal letter which I opened with a fusion of emotions flying around in my head.

I was leaning over a desk at the radio station as I began to read the words.

My excitement must have been audibly obvious to one of my colleagues, Chris, as I “ooh’d” and “ahh’d” my way through its contents.

I explained the reasons for my astonishment which I could only liken to getting an answer to the proverbial message in a bottle.

It then occurred to me that one must also consider the feelings of those who are closest to one in the here and now, how important it is not toget too carried away with the past: keeping things in proportion.

Yet it was reassuring to hear that they have all done well, especially the children, who are no longer children, one of whom has a beautiful daughter of her own with another due next month.

He had attached a few photographs of the family complete with a well crafted synopsis of their life in my dad’s home county of Essex.

Well, the long and short of things is that we are planning to get together in the not too distant future.

As I’d replied to Paul, “Perhaps we need to meet up with a glass or two, maybe put Genesis on a turntable... bury a few ghosts... then go from there.”

Where it goes, who knows?

Does everything have to be done for a reason?