I started this afternoon to say goodbye to the house! Now that does sound rather depressing. Well it isn’t. All the furniture and carpets are gone from my parents’ part of the house and from the flat downstairs. So I walked through the rooms and remembered the good times. The fun times. The traumatic times (when a large part of the house burnt down!). And because it’s so empty it was totally lovely and calm. There was nothing there to distract me from my own version of the past. I could just be at one with the space around me. I closed my eyes and remembered how it was before the fire. I pictured my Mum cooking in the kitchen. My Dad playing the piano – the 7 yr old me dancing around as he played.
I remembered the Christmas’s around their massive dining table. I remembered the meals my Mum produced for the Tuesday Evening Gliding Team – always ready, always hot when we fell through the door at 9.30/10.00pm and always enough for everyone even though she never had a clue how many were going to turn up. She always said it was the easiest dinner party to host as we all came in talking nineteen to the dozen about what had happened during the evening, we ate whilst we all talked at once and we all left still talking!!
I remembered the swimming and the fun we had with the pool. How my Dad designed the best solar panel on the market at the time (1976) so he could heat it at no cost!
I remembered all his lawn mowers. He got nicknamed the MowerKing at one point!!
I remembered all the pigeons and the wonderful aerobatics they did. And the time he had ones with feathered feet!
I remembered the time my mum and I decided to knit everyone jumpers for Christmas and we both woke up in the middle of the night and caught each other downstairs knitting like mad!!
I’ve had a really wonderful time this afternoon. Yes I’ve cried – but in a calm way. I needed to do this so I can leave here next week.
I needed to say goodbye to my parents – to the people who gave me life. I don’t think I’d really done that before. Other things got in the way before. Looking after my Dad when Mum died. Looking after me when Dad died a year ago.
The house will start to change in 10 days time as it’s ripped apart by the builders. It will be different when it’s finished. New and sparkly. The ‘ghosts’ will have gone and it will be ready to welcome a new family into it. This is as it should be.
So today I said goodbye to both my parents in a way I’d never done before. Just them and me and the space around us which we all shared. It was really really good. I’m so glad I found time to do it.
I’d love to tell them about the new life I’m going to have, love and enjoy. Part of me hopes they know!