He was my second-cousin really, being my mother's cousin - we always knew him as Cousin Den.
He was born with serious curvature of the spine and spent a lot of his childhood in hospital, in braces and traction. His mum was one of my nan's sisters - Daisy, and his dad was my grandad's best friend, Tom who is in one of these pictures.
Tom and Daisy - I don't remember them much at all. Daisy died young, I never knew her and Dennis helped his dad nurse her. Then he cared for his Dad during a fairly long process of dying from cancer.
This is Daisy
She looked very like my Nan.
I do have a lot of memories of Dennis though - he used to visit us in London quite often when I was growing up. He had a motorbike, and we thought that was very cool. And he would bring his harmonium, and maybe his squeeze box (accordian) - and play for us. He was sweet and gentle and cheerful, and I remember my mother telling me that he was always so as a child, despite his disability - and as an adult, while caring so devotedly for his parents.
This is Dennis as I remember him - in our garden in London in the 1970's, with other family members.
Den died in the mid 1990's.
.... and imagine here a lapse in my writing as I did some googling and exploring of family tree websites to see if I could pin down the exact date. Hmmm this could become a fascinating new diversion for me....
His little rented house - where he had lived with his mum and dad all his life apart from his childhood in hospital - was packed full of piles of old newspapers, canned food, handy bits and pieces. He didn't like to throw anything away.
I have a lovely old enamel colander which was his - and was my great-Aunty Daisy's - and I treasure it and love using it.
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11 months ago