Dear Polly

Dear Polly

As you know I have never written to you, emailed you or texted you. We are not acquaintances or friends. Until recently, I knew so little about you and now you are dead I know so much more. How daft is that?

The other night when tired and clicking away on the Internet, I came across a list of deceased people from our college. I was not really taking much notice at all. There were deaths of old people born many decades ago.

You will remember that we were always identified by college by our matriculation year. 1987 – the year leapt out at me from the screen. That is your year and mine. I recognised a first name but not the surname but then again women often marry so names change. Mine has after all.

Within a couple of minutes I had confirmed what I had suspected. It was you and you are dead.

So what is the point of this post?

Shall I tell you what I remember about you? I recall a stunningly pretty girl with blond hair and a stylish air about her. Inevitably, I found that daunting always identifying then as the fat and ugly one. Add to that that you were from the South, seemingly had gone to a posh school and had a double-barrelled name and you were out of my league. So we would pass in front court and say “Hi” and that was I think all we ever said to each other.

Who is to say that you did not find me challenging too with my Northern accent, single-barrelled name and working class roots? I guess I will never know.

And that’s the point of this post really. I read your obituary in the Times. It struck me that we would have probably got on quite well. You are a writer and I do my best to be so too. You enjoyed a band that is seen as embarrassing these days but I love them too. You had done charity work so we could have bonded on experiences of volunteering and trying to help good causes.

Ironically you died with a single-barrelled name and I will die with a double-barrelled one. I have lived in the South many times now and some people would find me posh whilst some would find me the opposite. You married a man from the North. Life is indeed strange with its twists and turns.

I wish I had got to known you. How easily we reject others based on things that ultimately really don’t matter at all.

Rest peacefully and perhaps one day we can be shining stars up there together and say more that “Hi”.


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  1. Daydreamer mum January 14, 2019 / 12:58 pm

    This is lovely Kate. Silly how we write people off or put people into boxes , when actually when you scratch the surface there’d be much in common. That’s a nice thing about social media like we’ve said , especially with blogging where we bare our soul at times , it kind of cuts through the small talk and says This is Me

  2. Jean | Delightful Repast January 14, 2019 / 1:58 pm

    Kate, what a beautiful post – and important topic. We make assumptions about people all the time based on outward appearance. We need reminders like this of what we miss out on by doing so.

  3. An Ordinary Mom January 15, 2019 / 3:17 pm

    Life is interesting this way. Missed opportunities. But there were also people you did get to know and likely, you made a difference in their lives.#TwinklyTuesday

  4. Rosie Doal January 15, 2019 / 7:31 pm

    This is such a sweet yet sad post, Kate. You’re right. We make judgements on people too quickly and decide not to include them in our inner or outer circles. Then we wonder what might have been. Sad to hear about Polly’s passing x #TwinklyTuesday

  5. endardoo January 16, 2019 / 8:38 am

    A lovely, thoughtful post, Kate. So many possible lives, so many opportunities taken and so many passed up on. Sad but beautifully observed. #Dreamteam

  6. Veronica Lee January 17, 2019 / 5:13 am

    So true – recently I bumped into a former secondary school friend and discovered we have so much in common! But when we were in school, we never made an attempt to know each other. It was this whole class streaming thing. She was in the Science stream and I was in Arts and never the twain shall meet! Arts students were always perceived by the teachers and students as the ‘stupid’ ones. All those wasted years – we could have been bffs!

    • Veronica Lee January 17, 2019 / 5:14 am

      Ooops! Forgot the #BloggerClubUK tag.

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