Thursday, 31 May 2018

#52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks. Week 22: 'So Far Away'

Week 22 Prompt: 'So Far Away'
Watching the excited passengers moving up the gangway of the ship “Ann Milne” a middle-aged woman caught my eye.  There was nothing exceptional about her style of dress that attracted me.   It was her shuffling and stumbling gait slowing down the throng, that caught my eye.  She kept looking back, not at the crowd, but to the sky past the pier and into the distance.  

It was clear that her family was encouraging her as they nudged her forward.  She alternated between wringing her hands and holding them in prayer.  Her shawl had slipped to her shoulders and the severe hairstyle, pulled up into a greying bun, revealed a tear-stained face.  I could see the shake of her head and the heave of her shoulders as she wept.  

She was all reticence and despair.  Something was stopping her from wanting to board the ship. Something or someone she could not bear to be parted from.   Her long black skirts swirled about the railing as if they too, wished to stay behind.

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This is a fictional story about my maternal Great Great Grandmother - Eleanor Wells nee Fry who was pregnant when she left England for Australia with her husband and 4 surviving children.  She was leaving behind 3 young ones in graves.


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