Washing Line Love

I’m one of those people who needs to find ways to say goodbye when I lose someone. To somehow give pain wings so the grief might gently fly where it needs to. Fly like the little birds who for the past 50 years have visited this back garden in Glasgow to eat the treats my Uncle Johnny has hung out on the washing line, like laundry on a Summer’s day. Until now.

He’s been so much a part of my life since I was a child but a few days ago that 92 year old gentlest of bird feeding souls very sadly passed away. Due to covid restrictions his memorial service is being delayed until next year when his Canadian family can return to Scotland more easily to celebrate his life with family and friends in person. I feel lucky to have been able to say my goodbyes the day before he died. But, in the strange void of no immediate funeral, I still find myself trying to honour him in any small ways I can. Like now.

My Uncle Johnny and I both shared a love of this group and chatted often about the amazing photos he’d seen from around the world. Last night, when I couldn’t sleep, I searched for any comments he might have made on any posts here – and found many.

One of those comments said how much he loved seeing views from “you nice people across the world” but it also said he was so sorry he couldn’t share his own view as he didn’t know how to post photos. I suddenly felt sad on reading that and wish I’d known sooner so I could have helped him share his window when he was alive. Even though I know he felt his view was “nothing fancy” compared to what he’d seen so far.

Well, Uncle Johnny, if you’re looking down on us, perhaps you can amuse yourself now by watching your view be shared across the world in your very fond memory.

I finally managed to track this photo down so people can see for a second what my Uncle Johnny would have seen every day for almost half his life. This simple, modest Glasgow view of a much missed beautiful hearted man who would sit at his kitchen window watching those birds feed – and making him feel, as he did, like the happiest man alive ?

By Debbie Geraghty

Hailing from Scotland and now living in Cornwall, UK. A window gazing lover of river and clouds. A visual storyteller and wondering wanderer who tries to live deeply - but lightly.

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