305 Summer task: Memory

The object I have chosen is small, visitors walk past it everyday without noticing its there, but for my mother and it is a signifier of freedom, independance and alot of hard work. The item I brought back is a small wooden ornamental plate with Brandenburg gate carved into it, for me it signifies the first time I was really treated like a grown up, made to open my eyes and realise that life didn’t stop outside England and that my small town was tiny in comparison. By the time I came home from my German trip, I had decided that I wanted to study history as a hobby and that media was where I wanted to be.

My View: Growing up I was never particularly popular and spent a lot of time learning history, my mum had a degree in it and at 13 I was determined that I was going to follow in her footsteps. When my secondary school gave us the chance to go to Germany and visit Sachsenhausen Concentration camp, I jumped at the chance. I had been reading about the Holocaust and was both fascinated and horrified by what I had read. We were visiting other attractions such as checkpoint Charlie but the day I visited the concentration camp I felt as if my childhood was over, the atmosphere was dark and I felt really emotional as I went around it. The trip signified me truly becoming an adult in other people’s eyes.

Tina (Mum): I am a single mother, so money was always tight and we couldn’t really afford to go abroad on holiday every year so when this opportunity came up I knew I had to send you. I spent weeks gathering the money, borrowing of my sister as well because we both knew how important this was for you to experience. I was so proud as I watched you pull away on the coach, not just of you but of everything I had achieved. I think in a way it only helped cement the view that you didn’t need to have a Dad around as I had proved that you wouldn’t be missing out.

Looking at how mum wrote the meaning of the ornament, I realised that she doesn’t really mention herself, she is proud that she could give me this experience. I think, as you grow up and have children, the way you look at life shifts slightly. Whilst I am still seeing the world as a blur of dreams and possibilities, my mum sees the real picture and how hard life can be so wants to give me the best start. I was raised by 2 very strong, very independent women and that shows in how I am today. Our reflections may be different, but our ideals are very much the same.


One thought on “305 Summer task: Memory

  1. Well done to Tina..it could not have been easy finding the money for your daughter to go to Germany. You should feel so proud of yourself, not only for that but for bringing up your daughter by yourself and having such a lovely daughter as a result.
    Good for both of you!


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