In 2015, I went to a house warming of my beautiful friend Monika, and was delighted to see this painting that I did of her hands with Mr. Connard’s in her bedroom. I don’t always get to see the paintings hung, so whenever I do it’s a real treat. There’s a story attached to this painting which is really beautiful and you can read it here:
Monika and Mr. Connard
Monika knew Mr. Connard when she was a tiny little girl in the 1960s at the time he employed her mother, Linda, as a typist. During the school holidays, Monika would go into the office and there a bond, similar to that of a grandparent and grandchild, was formed.
When Monika’s mother became seriously ill, losing an enormous amount of weight – at one stage reaching 4 stone – Mr. Connard was there to help, becoming a very dear friend, almost like a member of the family.
Life stabilised for Monika, until suddenly at the age of 15, her father died. He was only 42 years of age. Ten days later her grandfather died, and then shortly after her grandmother.
Monika, her younger sister and mother were all alone in the space of six months. And that’s when Mr Connard and his late wife Thelma really stepped in and helped, providing support and friendship in their time of need. There was a wonderful bond and a special love between them.
Monika grew up and went to Uni, and as what often happens when life changes, they lost touch. They lost touch for twenty-five years in fact.
In 2009, Monika bought a house with her young family in Parkdale. During the move, she found an old wallet that she had since she was ten and in it a card. On the card was Mr. Connard’s address from the time when Monika was a child. It was only about 6 houses away from where she was now living. She walked around to see the house thinking there was no possible way that he would still be there.
Waiting in the front garden for a taxi was Mr. Connard – who was now 92 years old. They recognised each other instantly and Monika flew into his arms crying. They have seen each other every day since then and Monika is truly like a granddaughter that Mr. Connard cherishes.