“In the end, we'll all become stories.”

- Margaret Atwood (Selfie photo taken 2021 - age 36.)

My siblings and I were having a good laugh the other day, over the various experiences we have encountered during our upbringing. We span over two decades from oldest to youngest. The stories never get old even though we've either lived through most of them or heard about the rest of them. There's some that come back, to front of mind, when there's more questions that can no longer be answered.

I vividly remember two funerals from my childhood. The first being my Grandmother (Grandma Smith) who was buried at Bathurst, NSW. I was about the age of 4 or 5. I don't remember my Dad crying at the funeral and that's stuck with me over the years. The second was when I was about 7-9 years of age, when my Dad's mate got murdered. I was only reminded of this at my Father's own wake.

Although I was surrounded by loved ones at my Dad's wake, only 9 months ago, I needed a quiet space to retreat to. Much like my Mum at her own Father's funeral. I wondered what he would be doing at his own wake and I thought long and hard about it. He would probably be on the phone to his brothers. So I called my Uncle and had a great chat with him, unable to make it to the funeral due to Covid.

We had a great chat. We had both loved and lost the same man. He is older than my Dad and shared some great stories with me about him. Some I had never known. There's always something to learn when you listen to stories. He joked that my Dad had nine lives.

Dad had drowned twice as a child. Had been hit by a car. Had been electrocuted when in the RAAF and had even dodged a bullet and avoided being murdered as an adult. I had completely forgotten about Dad's mate that got murdered. It was his work associate. They both did security, sometimes together or sometimes to fill in for the other. One night he was on duty and was shot whilst guarding a home. I remember that funeral. It was one of my vivid memories from my childhood.

- x.

To view more of my journey on instagram please visit @caleyashpole.