Generation gaps

Duration: 2:31 minutes
Accession No: TWCMS : 2009.20
This story has been viewed 6218 times

The story is about Anita's search for her grandmother and how she felt when she finally found her.

By Anita Moffitt


Other information

This story was inspired by an object from the collections at South Shields Museum & Art Gallery.

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Video transcript

In 2003 Pearl, my Grandmother died. Three weeks ago I saw her for the first time But, this isn’t a ghost story.   When I was growing up there was a pressed glass cake stand took pride of place in our living room. It had belonged to my Mum’s grandmother and I was not allowed to touch it, it was too precious.    I have always known that my Mum was in a children’s home during WW2. My granddad was serving overseas, my mum and my aunt were brought to live with their grandmother amongst a vast extended family of aunts and uncles.   I don’t know when it happened, but I became aware that I didn’t have a grandma like all my friends did. So where was she? And, more to the point, who was she and do I look like her? Eventually I become curious enough to write a letter to my grandmother after I found her name in my mum's address book. I didn’t tell my mum; In the back of my mind knew that it was a sensitive subject. I got a letter back. Pearl spoke about seeing me just once after I was born and how she thought about me around my birthday I felt so guilty, I never wrote  again.    Time went by and I began searching the internet for my family tree.  I got an email from a man claiming that my Granddad was also his and amazingly, it  turned out to be true. Pearl had had two more children and my granddad was recorded as their father.  Pearl died in 2003 and because of this my Mum re-established a relationship with her Aunt when she went to the funeral. A few weeks ago my mum celebrated her 70th birthday and a simple “Happy Birthday” phone call from her Aunt led to a family tree and photo’s being sent in the post and there, after all these years of wondering, I am suddenly looking at a picture of Pearl, my Grandmother. And I'd love to tell you that I looked into her eyes and knew we were connected but it just didn’t happen. She was a stranger and she always will be. But the things that have come from this, the other photo’s the stories, the documents, they all give me a link now to a part of my past that I didn’t know I existed. Finally I know exactly who I look like; I saw it clear as a bell in a photo of my mum aged 3 and compared it with one of mine. We are mother and daughter through and through and thats enough.

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