Dear Tom…………aka……….Poppy Jenkins

This letter might have a different feel/sound to it; it is too my paternal grandfather Tom also known as Poppy Jenkins in the family. So here it goes

Dear Tom

Growing up you were always Poppy Jenkins but as an adult I have thought of you more as “Tom” that is because I do not feel a close bond with you, this I feel is because on more than on occasion you told me that I wasn’t as good a daughter as my sister Sue. Looking back I can’t help but feel that I was a failure in your eyes and that you didn’t love me as much as you did my siblings, maybe that is not true but it is how I feel and that is not something that can be changed.

I remember when mum & dad gave me my first typewriter you said why “would they give you that you will use it once or twice and toss it aside”, well I loved that typewriter and used it till I upgraded to an electric on, when they gave me a bike you said “you will not ride that” I rode it a lot.

When Sue took part in the 40hr famine you said to me “she is a good girl for doing that, unlike you” yes you said that and there was another time Sue did something and you said to me “she is such a good girl not like you”.

Knowing you I know you most likely meant nothing by it, it was just your way and you would say things without thinking of how they would affect a child but I still get upset by these statements.

I know that you liked to spend time with our family, as you would come to stay for a couple of weeks and you would be there for 2 or 3 months, however, when you would go and stay at your other children’s homes you would only stay a week or two. This is because you felt our place was a home, it was loud and messy but it felt like a home should feel, I know my Aunty Pat’s house was not like that and I think Aunty Denise’s home was the same.

I don’t think you knew what a close knit loving family was until dad married mum and became part of such a family, I know I am lucky that my dad is such a wonderful man, so loving and so caring and not afraid to show his love to his children. I never got that feeling from you, you always had a distance between yourself and the rest of us well to me you did.

Maybe it had something to do with the fact that you only had once sibling your sister Joyce but you did have 8 children of which my dad is the second eldest. Anyway you passed away in 1991 at the age of 74 and I did go to your funeral and I think I even cried a bit because I did feel sad about your death, you were around in my life a lot when I was growing up and that is a good thing being part of one’s life does create some kind of bond.

11 thoughts on “Dear Tom…………aka……….Poppy Jenkins

  1. Well that just sucks. One thing I know about that generation though is often they would say things like that to motivate children to prove them wrong, as you did. They did not give any thought to how that might affect children. Even as recent as 100-150 years ago, men thought of their wives and children like possessions. Hugs to you Jo-Anne!
    Diana xo

  2. When I think of my grandmother and her indifference to us, I often wonder what hurt was she holding in that made her less affectionate to us? I heard stories of her dad and how strict he was and love was not an emotion that was displayed…glad we broke that cycle!

  3. I think my husband feels that way about a couple of his grandparents. He was never close to them. Only really ever sees or speaks to them if we happen to be in that state. They don’t say hi or acknowledge our children. It’s sad.

  4. Thank you for sharing this openness in your feelings, Joanne. I hope this helps in the healing process. Coming to terms with the people in our past–and showing compassion like you have–this can be a big step! 🙂

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