Memories and Mixed Emotions Unearthed from the Cupboard

Well, what with me scuttling around, trying to complete the contents of our not so famous five’s ‘Baby Boxes’, today saw me clearing out the shelf of one of our wardrobes. My mission was to thin out all of the physical items that were part of our family’s early experiences.

It seems that from both India and Thailand, I kept every single receipt, invoice, airline boarding pass and document. The important documents that we needed in order to gain British passports and Exit Visas are already filed away for all of our children, but all of those little incidentals, passport photos, bits of stationery, you name it, were surveyed and sorted by myself today!

All of those monthly accommodation invoices – bin. All of those small trinkets – priceless. I had hotel keycards for the Novotel in Juhu Beach, where I started this journey. Then on to the Marriott Executive Apartments in Powai, Bombay (there were other unmentionable accommodations) and then onto the Marriott apartments in Bangkok, Thailand. Nothing on that score from Nepal however as we stayed in pretty regular apartments, dare I say at relatively overinflated prices! Indian, Thai and Nepalese mobile Sim Cards were all there, Bangkok sky train tickets, in fact So many small reminders and memories of those ‘Eighteen Moons’ spent far away from home had certainly mounted up over that time.

There were also documents reminding me of the bizarre and not so happy moments. I felt really emotional when I uncovered the doctors prescription and the diagnosis letter that he wrote, in order to help my plea aimed at the Indian authorities in order to return home with Tara and Amritsar, stating that I was suffering from a deep depression! It did not help. Then there was the invoice and covering letter from the ‘Hiranandani Hospital’ (where the girls were born) at around 7 months into our prolonged stay in Mumbai, I had a breakdown due to the extreme circumstances that were holding us in stasis. Nothing to worry about I was told, just anxiety – a form of panic attack. It was a completely distressing and upsetting time. I was so grateful as to their diagnosis as I could not have imagined being side lined from the girls for a single moment in those, our darkest hours!

A lot of energised feelings today – and all I was looking for were the two pieces of material swatches that were our nanny Bharti’s old torn saris that swaddled our little babes as they slept in their early months of life. We have seen the girls in swaddling in various photographs and now these relative rags are destined to be a lifetime memory, but just for now, to be hidden away in the children’s ‘Baby Boxes’!

Certainly a day of mixed emotions and memories for me. Even a tear!

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A Gay Dad reflecting on life in the Shires of England with my not so famous five and two rapscallion Dalmatian hounds

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