~ The Art Of Change ~ with Carol Omer ~

Art and Creativity as Mediums for Empowerment , Connection and Change…

Lest We forget

Posted by carolom on November 11, 2017

My Grandad John Chapman.

Killed in the second world war.
A working class man sent to a war that wealthy men start.
A broken crumpled photo.
A grieving widow.
An only child growing up in a home where the war broke my Nanas heart.
An only child denied her Fathers love, living on her own in a house of silence where her war-widow Mother worked full time, standing on her feet all day, never discussing what happened.Finding relief in hours of silence when her working day was finished.

A solitary child in awe with the world of books and paintings, art and story.
A little note she kept in her purse all of her life “To Maugny with all my Love Daddy”.
Watching an old 1940’s movie one day with a scene of young men climbing into an army truck to head to the battlefield I saw my Grandfather for the first time, represented by those vibrant, alive, energetic young men who were being sent to battle.
It is the only time I have cried for my Grandad.
I have no memories to miss.
War took care of that.

My Grandad never came home from the war and for many years I couldn’t understand my Nana’s strange and difficult ways or why my Mother jumped at loud noises and preferred to be on her own rather than in company.
I didn’t understand the contentious relationship my Mother and her Mother had but now I know that the pain and war-trauma they both experienced turned into resentment and depression and divided them into two troubled women.

Mum staying connected to her Creativity was the biggest blessing in a very sad story.
We all learnt to hold it in.
A week before she died unexpectedly my Nana said to me, “I never really got over your Grandad being killed you know”. She was in her 80’s and had never shared her pain before. It was like meeting her for the first time and then she was gone.
Now I fully understand the devastating impact that war has had on my family and how being born into a city that was the most bombed city outside of London has reverberated down the generations.
For my Grandad Private John Chapman.

The working class man who wanted to have lots of children and who doted on his beloved Maugny for the short time they were together.
Lest we Forget.

 

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