Welcome to my blog, where I take pleasure in words and pictures, be they my own or those of others. I'm a creative individual, and the crafty side I explore on my 'other blog', Picking Up The Threads, which I hope you'll visit too. I'm sure you understand that I have sole copyright of my original work and any of my contributions, so please ask if you want to use them. A polite request is rarely refused. So, as they used to say on the BBC's 'Listen With Mother' radio programme, many years ago: "Are you sitting comfortably? Then we'll begin."

Friday, 16 October 2015

Holding On


This is a picture of my Mother and her brother in the late Twenties. I haven’t been able to identify the the other two children, though they may be cousins. Mum is holding on to the youngest; a baby of just a few months, whose sibling sits to Mum’s right, and they are all focused on something that we can’t see.

Our Sepia Saturday prompt this week is also four children, looking to the right; one is seated on an adult’s lap and three of them are holding on to something precious.


This is the Rosen Family in pre-war Estonia* and the lighting is extraordinary. Whatever it was they were looking at, it certainly held their attention. Perhaps it was a Magic Lantern show. It was clearly amusing, as the little boy has the beginnings of a smile. His three younger siblings haven’t quite understood, and each has brought along something precious to hold onto. I wonder what became of them; a Jewish family in Estonia during WW2 would have needed to hold onto the precious and comforting more than most.


My own father liked to take photographs from unusual angles; he would capitalise on the lighting, in this case, natural sunlight streaming through the window. He would have instructed us to look away from the camera, as he often did, and focus on something or someone to our right. Nevertheless, I’m holding on to something precious; my much-loved and rather bald dolly, just like the little girl in the prompt photo.


In the photo above, probably the same year, (mid-fifties) he once again makes us look to our right. This time it’s my big brother holding on to something precious; as well as me, his little sister, he has some kind of rocket-type toy in his hand.

Lately he and his family have had to hold on to something much more than expected. His son, my nephew, was struck down with a rare and virulunt form of Hepatitis last month; his life hung in the balance as his liver deteriorated rapidly. We will be forever grateful for the gift of life he was granted by a donor. The transplant was a success and my nephew has made a remarkable recovery. Like my Mum in the first photo, with her little cousin, like the Rosen family, whose fate we do not know, and like me and my brother, we are all holding on.

Join us this week at Sepia Saturday, to see what other contributors made of the promopt.  

* Courtesy of Flickr, The National Archives of Estonia Album

15 comments:

  1. Oh, I'm so glad your nephew is doing well...life changes in an instant! Bless that donor...

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  2. I'm glad your nephew is doing well. I hope the Rosen family got out alive, all of them, before. I was holding a doll this week too.

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  3. I'm so happy for you that you found a donor. It is amazing what can actually bring you down quickly....it's never the things you worry about that turn out to be problems...most of the time, the big events come out of left field, while we are all looking off to our right.

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  4. Holding on to something - a great take on the prompt. I especially love that interesting photo of you and your brother on the beach, and am very happy to hear that your nephew is recovering well.

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  5. Very nicely composed post, Nell. Words, photographs and sentiments. I often use the "fine line" to demonstrate the fragility of happy existence. We are indeed, all holding on, so that we may tread the fine line for as long as possible. I wish your nephew all good things now that he's regained his footing.

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  6. The last photo is excellent - I particularly like the low angle.

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  7. Holding on - plenty of food for thought in the idea you have presented us with from your photos and story.

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  8. A great selection, and nicely explained.
    Glad your nephew is on the mend.

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  9. How perfect, the glancing off to the side or away from the photographer is captured throughout. Holding on is deep in my thoughts as well. Lovely memories of your family. Thank goodness for donors, may all go well.

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  10. I especially like the beach photo, but it would be nice to see a bit more of your faces.

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  11. As my favorite saying goes "Life is what happens while you're making other plans." Thank heaven for, and bless the donors who save lives with their unselfish generosity. So glad your nephew is doing well. Your 'holding onto something precious' is a lovely match to the prompt. I had to go back & look carefully at the prompt again to notice they were all holding something special - including the father holding one of his children.

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  12. Great matches for the theme and I appreciate your giving a background to the SS photo. Next month my friend and neighbor will celebrate his first anniversary after receiving a liver transplant. We are most grateful, as you are too, for the wonderful gifts of medical science.

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  13. Nice picture of big brother holding on to his little sister!!!

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  14. Lovely photos and a truly moving story of "holding on" that takes SS to a different level altogether. I appreciate that kind of thinking.

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  15. You are so lucky to have family photographs like this.

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