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Found and lost (and found)

I have spent the last few days clearing out my mum's house. While my wife has been cleaning and making the place look better, my job has been to sort through everything. A lot of things have gone to charity shops. One sold a box of vinyl records and made over £200, a dog rescue centre welcomed bags of cotton sheets and blankets. I've tried to keep as little as possible.

All this sorting through my parents's possessions has made me weary. It's been the emotional equivalent of being punched, repeatedly, and I've just about had enough. I keep finding remembrances of my early life and my mum and dad's life together. So many diaries, notes, photographs and keepsakes, I can barely face seeing any more.

But, as I was clearing out my dad's writing desk, at the very back of the last compartment, I found some photographic slides. "oh no, here we go," I thought, expecting yet more pictures that would quietly break my heart.

I was right, and very wrong. What …

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