Friday, May 04, 2012
The day before the handover
It's partly that I'm sad for my mother. She was a housewife for most of her life, though she did lots of voluntary work which involved serving on committees and running meetings. But home was her base and she was a good homemaker. And this evening her home is completely bare. Mr Life and I spent all last week and some of this week dealing with her stuff, and then cleaned the whole flat thoroughly. Her oven, fridge and freezer now shine, the cupboards have all been washed out, all her paintwork is clean and her carpets vacuumed. I wish my own were quite as pristine! We hand over the keys tomorrow.
Many of her possessions were tied up with my childhood and it's all reminded me that this is long gone. And also I can't help looking round my own home and thinking... well... life's short and one day our offspring will have to clear up after us.
Though various members of the family have given homes to quite a lot of things, an awful lot has gone to auction, to charity shops, to Fresh Start and so on. I think I feel worst about the stuff that's gone to auction, because I'm sure she'll get very little for most of it. Not that she needs the money, but somehow I feel bad about the thought of her possessions on a table somewhere, being picked up and put down by strangers. The worst guilty feelings are about some of the things that belonged to my grandparents and were treasured by my beloved granny. But you can't keep everything. It's hard enough to find places for things you really like and some of them were not at all to my taste. Useful or beautiful and all that.
I keep catching myself thinking of various items, vaguely feeling that we should keep them and then remembering that they've gone.
Still, next week we won't have to do any of it again and hopefully the new people (who're expecting their first baby in August) will be starting to breathe new life into the place. They have great plans for knocking down a wall between the cloakroom and the dining room, making the dining room into the kitchen and the kitchen into a family room and so on. So soon it really won't look like my parents' flat. And we'll all calm down and find something else to get stressed about. There are various candidates for this...
And there's always singing to lift the spirits, not to say our splendid choirmaster. As in any choir I've ever been in, there are some people who keep their eyes on the music and seldom look up. He said yesterday, "If you really aren't going to look at me, perhaps you could draw a face on the top of your head so the audience has something to look at. And make it a nice smiley face, will you?"