Today, I am tidying up. Out of a box under the bed tumbled a heap of photographs, some, like this one, capturing moments long-forgotten from times well-past.
I am thinking this was taken by my cousin Marylyn on a beach in Scotland in 1964, or '65. The three subjects are Geoffrey (Marylyn's husband) Robert (small boy) and Adrian, my brother.
I am not here. It was Adrian's turn to be taken camping by our closest family. I think I begrudged him the treat at the time.
Adrian died, aged just 42, a year or two before the millennium that we had assumed, when we were young, we'd celebrate together. Geoffrey is dying of Alzheimer's disease and wouldn't know me if I saw him. Why would he? Ten years after this photo was taken, he and Marylyn divorced and we met only once after that - at her funeral. Robert battled decades of depression, then one day just upped and left his wife and daughters, never to be seen again. It happens.
When I teased this photograph out of the pile, I smiled. Their stories have come to an end, as mine must one day, but the photo carries a message: the ending is not the WHOLE story.
Funnily enough, that's a comfort.