Wednesday, March 21, 2007

The Murrays of Brunswick Road

Yesterday, I renewed a friendship with an individual I had known over forty years ago. When I was six years old, my parents, sister and I left England for Canada. In doing so, we not only left my birthplace, but we also left some very good friends ... The Murrays. Though my parents kept in contact with them throughout the forty years, I somehow managed to lose personal contact with them from day one. I suppose that this did not happen for any particular reason, it was that I was just a kid with other interests and concerns going on in my life. I never did forget them though and have always thought about them and listened with eagerness to the news about them via my parents.

I never really knew how much I cared about them until just recently when I had the chance to meet them. As a young lad, I had re-met their mother , "Aunty Murray" on two occasions when she came to visit our family in the early seventies. Now, decades later, I was to meet her son Ian once again and his wife Angela for the first time. Upon finding this out, my memories of Brunswick Road, in Sutton, Surrey flooded back into my mind and I found myself eagerly looking forward to renewing long lost acquaintances. I find it amazing how one can still have a bond with people after so many years of distance apart.

Aunty Murray was never really my aunt but we considered her just that. She was a very kind and loving lady who took my parents under her wings and became a good friend to them soon after they arrived in England. My parents had no relatives in Canada and so "Aunty Murray" became our family. Ian, Aunty Murray's son, a young man at the time, also became a close friend of my parents and I came to know him as a big brother/friend/neighbour. I have often told people the story of how he rushed in to help me when I once almost drove a drumstick (not from a chicken!) into my pallet. I suppose he was a bit of a hero to me! I believe that though I was only six at the time of losing contact with him, I never really lost that bond that I never really knew I had at that age. I really don't know how or why bonds with certain people develop but I do know that one developed back in the early sixties.

While on a vacation to Churchill, Manitoba and Toronto, Ontario, Ian and Angela came for a visit to my parent's home. This was the first time that any of us had seen Ian and Angela in all these years. I wondered if I would recognize them upon picking them up. From the moment I saw Ian, I knew it was him. I was surprised at how comfortable I was around him after all these years. I suppose that though it appears that we forget many things throughout our life, our brain always has the power to remember and knows exactly what to do in situations like that.

We had a great visit! The loving and caring eyes of Ian that I remembered from such a long time ago were still there. His gentle spirit still flowed through his mannerisms. Meeting Angela for the first time (though I may have met her once as a lad) was comfortable and enjoyable as well. It was as if I had also known her well a long time ago. I could see that she and Ian were good for each other and complimented each other's mannerisms throughout the day and, no doubt, throughout their lives.

I will always remember the Murrays, our Brunswick Road neighbours. They will always be our neighbours … they will always be like family to me!


CSL said...

What a sweet post. "Family" members you choose to add in are some of the best family you can have.

Lone Grey Squirrel said...

Jesus was once asked, "Who is my neighbour?" You have just shared how neighbours can be anyone as long as there is a relationship of love and caring. Thanks for reminding us of the sweetness of such relationships unweakened by time or distance.

Jazz said...

NIce post... but geez, I'm having a huge case of déjà vue here... Freaky.