I am sure like me, there have been times when you have wondered what difference might have been made to your life, if your younger self had been gifted with the experience and knowledge you have accumulated over the years.
I invited several friends from the writing community to share their thoughts on this subject which I am sure you will enjoy as much as I did.
Today teacher and children’s author Sue Wickstead who shares her thoughts about her dad and her family.
I wish I knew then what I know now! ‘Dad’ by Sue Wickstead
I wish I knew then, that you would die so young dad.
I never thought that you would be gone so early in our lives.
I thought you would be there to meet your grandchildren.
I thought you would play and laugh and enjoy their lives.
I thought you would have enjoyed holidays and playtime in their company and they in yours.
But you didn’t live and you didn’t see them.
I know they would have known the love you could have given if you had been given the time to live.
Your legacy was love.
The love you gave us we passed on to our children. With nine grandchildren and even more great grandchildren – the numbers are growing.
But they will always know you because we remember you.
When your son was born how proud you were.
Not just because he would carry on your name but he was a kindred spirit, ‘a boy’ amongst your family of girls.
How your son changed the lives of us girls and we loved him too.
But if you had ever worried about carrying on your legacy and carrying on your family name you should never have worried.
We loved you and when you were gone and the grandchildren arrived, they were all given your family name as a middle name in homage of how much we valued and loved you.
Maybe the name will be lost in time and maybe the name will disappear but never the love.
I wish we had realised and enjoyed the little time we had together.
Mum and 5 children
P.S. My married name is Mrs Susan Riddick. My father’s name was Thomas Wickstead and my mother, Elizabeth Wickstead (nee Powell).
My son Thomas was the first of my father’s nine grandchildren. He was born a year after my father died, 1983, and arrived on my parents wedding anniversary, 30th September.
When my son was born, he opened his eyes and I suddenly felt I had known him all of my life.
My son was named Thomas, Andrew, Wickstead, RIDDICK.
My mum was a keen family historian and researched the WICKSTEAD name (in all spelling variations) as a one name study.
She found I was not the first WICKSTEAD girl who had carried on the name in this way and that it had been done in the past before.
My sisters followed suit when their children were born.
My children may not have known my dad, their grandad, but they knew he was a lovely well thought of man because they knew how fondly he was spoken of.
My mum Elizabeth
I never thought my mum would grow in herself to be so resilient and her love of history, together with her sister Rose, helped her get through such a trauma. Something that was never acknowledged. She is now 94 and going strong.
My brother suffered emotionally, having lost his dad, he was only 14 at the time, again the support and understanding was not there at that time. But then again, as a war baby, my mum’s opinion was to just get on with life and not dwell on the negative.
My brother lived his life a proud godfather to a few of dad’s grandchildren but never had any children of his own. However, he is a crazy and lovely uncle who was loved equally.
My daughter, Eleanor, Jayne Wickstead, RIDDICK, was finally married in lockdown. It had been cancelled and ended up as a very small affair.
She asked me if she could drop the ‘Wickstead’ from her name. After a moments concern, I gladly gave my permission. I had wanted dad’s name to carry on somehow but my son has it, not my grandson.
In my involvement with the Playbus and now my writing, even in my teaching I was ‘Sue WICKSTEAD’ and I realised his name will carry on.
A bit of an odd turn of events how that happened. ‘What’s in a name?’ that’s certainly a different story.
©Sue Wickstead 2022
My thanks to Sue for sharing her poignant response to the prompt and her lovely family with us. Since these days it is almost impossible to remove your presence from the Internet, the name Wickstead is going to be carried on for a long time to come.
About Sue Wickstead
Sue Wickstead is a teacher and an author with Award winning books.
Shortlisted in the Wishing Shelf Book awards. and has written children’s picture books with a bus theme. In addition, she has also written a photographic history book about the real bus behind her story writing.
Her bus stories are about a playbus. Have you ever been on a Playbus?
When Sue’s two children were young, they attended a playgroup on a bus, but not an ordinary bus taking you on a journey, exciting though this is, but a Playbus stuffed full of toys to capture their imagination!
For over 20 years, alongside her teaching career, she worked with the charity, the Bewbush Playbus Association.
As part of the committee she painted the bus, worked in the groups, helped raise the profile of the project and its work and was part of the team involved in raising funds to replace the old bus with a newer vehicle. This led her to write a photographic history book about it.
‘It really was a fun journey to be involved in’, said Sue. The bus really got into her blood and became a work of the heart.
Having written the history book Sue soon found that many children had never been on a bus before, let alone a ‘Playbus’ and they wanted to know more. So, she decided to write a fictional tale, his number plate JJK261, gave him his name.
‘Jay-Jay the Supersonic Bus,’ came out in print in 2014. It is the story behind the original project and is his journey from a scrap-yard to being changed into a playbus for children to play in. From Fact to fiction the bus journey continues.
A small selection of books by Sue Wickstead
My review for Barty Barton February 5th 2022
A lovely story about how even when old and worn out there is still love to be given and received. Very hopeful for those of us of a certain age, who like Barty Barton the bear, are showing signs of wear and tear.
Barty and his fellow stuffed toys have been rather neglected after their young owner grows up and leaves home to start a family of his own.
Luckily his mother comes to the rescue and Barty and his collection of friends go through several rejuvenating processes. They are a delight to read about, offering useful suggestions to those who have favourite worn toys that might enjoy being pampered, and passed along to younger members of the family.
As with all children’s books that I read, I like to see the underlying messages of kindness, love and hope being embedded in the story for a young reader to absorb.
The illustrations are perfect and any child reading, or having the story read to them, will be tempted to stop and discuss in more detail.
Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon UK – And: Amazon US – More reviews: Goodreads – Website/Blog: Sue Wickstead – Facebook: Stories Sue – Facebook: Teacher Page – Twitter: @JayJayBus – LinkedIn: Sue Wickstead
Thank you for dropping in today and it would be wonderful if you could share Sue’s post.. thanks Sally.