These have not been “frost free” months emotionally, I have been processing much about the unfamiliar life without mum, and the new life I have chosen after our big, big changes last year (moving areas, our marriage and J’s retirement).
There have been some happy days and some sad days, such is life I guess, but the roller-coaster has felt more than a little out of control at times, and with some mountainous ups and downs. When life feels like that I tend only to write in my journal (a lot!) and any creative writing is limited to short poems. This means I have been absent from the blog pretty much all this year.
It hasn’t been an overly creative period but there are poems from the last few months that I want to share here. They concern “roots of family history, place, emotional growth and development.”, which, as I noted when introducing this site, I created this blog to explore. They talk about how it was, what I saw and how my parents lived. Not easy reading maybe (certainly not easy writing) but it is my truth and I am honouring it, moving on with it and letting it be. There is something about these words resting here that means I am letting them go, putting them down, and, finally, being freer from the past. (And thanks, Linden, for your loving conversation with me about these thoughts that helped me to start to put into words why I am sharing here.)
It wasn’t what I would have chosen
The only tell-tale sign of regret
In those words
Cards go to his address
Go to hers
They all came,
the cousins and the friends.
“No one would care if I lived or died.”
at the warm friendship
and soothing affection.
“No-one loves me –
Except, maybe you.”
at all the condolence cards
and fond memories shared.
“I would be better off dead.”
What he knows now
He remembers her now
He tells the six grieving strangers
at the bereavement group
“I loved her; I loved her for 60 years”.
He talks to her, he reads her poetry!
“She would like that”, he says,
When is the last time he did that, I wonder?
On her last day, round her bedside, we sat,
He held her hand,
“It was years since we touched” he said.
They crouch chronologically, as I left them
in the box I brought here
from the chaos of those times.
They hold secrets
for me; my life, her life
told in loads
and ironing, and resting
Told in letters for Granny
and tales of pets.
Thirty years of life in that box
just like her.