Friday, 11 November 2011

Armistice Day - From the vortex of time

Photo taken by Michelle Potter, my second cousin, once removed
Continued from yesterday.

Ross Cole's neice, Wendy, was a solitary woman, born in 1938, who died in 2005. It was her ceiling. It was her box. They were her memories. The curator and I pieced this together after much sleuthing. The curator, Robert, was in the midst of successfully unraveling a 'cold case'.


Not surprisingly, for me, it was more than that.

Earlier this year, we held our first ever Cole family reunion, The Colegium. Ross Cole's father, Cyril, was one of nine children of our 'bedrock' couple - my great-grandparents. Two died in infancy, two were childless, yet for four we had descendants with which to correspond. Only one line eluded me: Cyril Cole.

And here is fate giving me a shove along. Fate telling me never to give up. Fate imploring me to continue to touch the cold headstones of those who have gone before. That remembrance requires mindfulness.

Photo taken by Michelle Potter, my second cousin, once removed

19 comments:

Madge @ The View From Right Here said...

Wonderful post in tribute to your loved ones... love the poppies for Veterans... we do that here too.

Breathtaking said...

Your endless search for the truth
and devine intervention, made this a fitting tribute to your family
and a very special true story.

Rachel said...

What a wonderful thing to happen! I am so glad that you were able to honor his memory with a red poppy. He was such a handsome man and his death was a tragedy, but he lives on as long as you pass his story along.

Kay L. Davies said...

A great find for your family, Julie, at the right time of year, too. Is your brother Ross named after Ross Cole or is it a family name?
I just read about pyjama day on Life in Vignettes and loved it. Alannah is wonderful, isn't she?
Luv, K

Peter said...

A cold case with a heart. Love the old letter - bet it smells musty.

J Bar said...

Brilliant tribute post for Rememberance Day. A very interesting read.

Bruce Caspersonn said...

It brings a tear to the eye.

Mark said...

Julie what a story, yes it is amazing what can appear from the past. We must persevere but also be patient.

raf said...

A very fine post in tribute, Julie. Thank you for sharing your story.

Mary Ann said...

This makes me wonder about my own family mysteries, and I can't wait to hear more of yours.

Joan Elizabeth said...

How exciting and a photo too!

Kate said...

A wonderful tribute. The day does not seem as memorable in my country anymore...so sad. I recall Armistice Day as a time when we sold and wore red paper poppies with a significant stop at 11 am in the classroom when we stood and paused to remember all the soldiers. Doesn't happen anymore; haven't seen a red poppy in decades.

Julie said...

Kate: different here. There were young sailors selling red poppies on every significant intersection in the city yesterday. And there were welkl-reported ceremonies around the nation.

freefalling said...

Kalinga?

Julie said...

Over the years the name of the suburb got changed to Woolowin. The family later moved to the very nearby Clayfield.

Julie said...

Kay: Sorry, should have commented, ere this.

My father denied up-hill and down-dale that my brother, Ross, was named to honour his cousin, Ross. I did not believe it then; I do not believe it now.

My brother's full name is Ross Athol. One of my father's uncles was named Athol.

Michelle said...

Julie, my first blog post ever!! I'm so glad you & mum went down on Thursday to collect our treasure. I can't wait to see the rest of the letters. I get cold shivers every time I tell people the story. It is so special to remember Ross at this time of the year & with what may be so much more meaning this year than ever before for 'us young ones'. These photos & letters mean he is so much more to us now than just a name. I am so greatful Wendy kept these letters & photos & that some stranger saw the importance of them & did not throw them away.

Julie said...

Having your comment here, Michelle, reminds me that I must attribute the two photos to you.

What you say is very true, and as you can see, the other commenters all agree with you. As for where we go now ...

I am sorting them through, and trying to develop a narrative to guide others. However, I am also trying to get myself ready for Jamieson, so that I know the questions I want to ask/followup and I have proof re cemetery location and where they lived all those years ago. That is going to be so very meaningful, too.

As you know, I am not a religious person, but something is going on here ...

Nathalie said...

Michelle, Julie, this story is extremely moving. I hope you will share the contents some of these letters in due course.