The end of the line

Wednesday 31st August   

I have been aware for many years now that I am the end of the line.  My family line, I mean.  Both of my parents, as I myself am, were only children, and as you know I had no children myself.  Although I do have cousins, great cousins actually, who I last saw at Grandma’s funeral, we have long lost touch – and besides I don’t think they really count, not in my reckoning anyway.  I just mean that I am the end of the line of my immediate family; Grandma, Mummy and me.  And in a funny sort of way I always knew I would be.  There were no babies being born in our family while I was growing up, and since then I haven’t heard of any either. It was as if we were in some sort of suspended animation; the possibility of my marrying one day and having children was never entertained. Oh, I had those romantic daydreams, based more on some Daphne Du Maurier novel than any real desires, of being swept off my feet by some super-handsome rich stranger.  But they never involved having children.  I think that my growing up as an only child, and with no possibility of ever having a sibling, made me in some way assume that I was possibly special.  The special child in the family; the only ever child there would be – and so I never imagined ever having a child of my own.  Strange? Yes, possibly, but understandable, I think.

I did have a few qualms in my mid-forties when I realised that time was passing quickly, and any chance of my having a baby was diminishing too.  But I knew deep down that it was just a passing notion, and not a serious desire.  In some ways it confirmed my special status – the special child, the last of the line.

Selfish? Yes, a bit.  But I never claimed to be perfect.