Saturday, September 04, 2010

Possession and loss

I thought our picture deserved a better photo and here it is. Thank you, Mr Life. The painter is Ian Parker. I love the way he's even painted a crack down the rim of the bowl.

My non-confused aunt and a friend have been dismantling the flat of my confused aunt, who's now in a care home. We took some of her things to put in her room, but it's felt awful to get rid of everything else. It's strange, is it not, how our stuff tends to last much longer than we do ourselves? The painting is with us only for the start of its life. We might have it for twenty or if we're lucky twenty-five years and then someone else will become its custodian.

Much the same can be said of children.

Daughter 2 will have to live in London if she wants to be with her actor chap. Which she does. And which we really, really, really regret. We know she loves us too, though, and we know that that's life. But it makes us very sad.


  1. But just as the artist has the satisfaction of knowing he's produced an ongoing thing of beauty, so parents can rejoice in their offspring who have flown the nest! :)

  2. Such a beautiful painting. Children. What can I say? They'll go. Like I did.

  3. Such is life. You've obviously done a stellar job. She's a big girl now and she'll be fine. And so will you. I guess we all have to learn to eventually take on a bit role in our childrens' lives. Which is hard after having had a starring role for so long! Might be time to distract yourself with some quilting lessons!

  4. Stunning painting, Isabelle. I can see just why you love it. And yes, your analogy is true, and yes, the kids are ours for a brief time, and then they are not, and yes, again, it is hard. You know what the most difficult time was for me? When I realised that I was no longer next of kin.
    I have grown used to my children being gone. David has gone back to university 3 weeks early, because he wanted to be in his house, with his friends, and to be back in his own life. He has already told me he most probably will not come home for Christmas either.
    I did a stellar job of raising my children to fly, didn't I? They are soaring. I just have to find a way to fill the gaping hole around here.

  5. I'm with you Isabelle. Feeling very, very sad. I think when our youngest first got out of school I held out hope that he'd eventually find the big wide world a little less friendly than home and he'd be back close to friends and family. That doesn't seem to be the case though and I'm realizing this might be more permanent than I'd hoped. He's about the same distance away as London is from Edinburgh ... which is to say, too far. I'm sure we'll both survive, but it's not much fun, is it?

  6. Mine aren't at that stage yet.

    The thing I dread , because the boys are all so close, is that they might hook up with girls who don't like each other...

    That would be a source of endless trouble.

    Still, I shouldn't worry. My boys are all so hideously ugly that there's very little chance of them ever getting partnered up.

  7. Funny, I have ended up a stones throw from my parents.
    Me, who wanted to stay out in the wide, sparkly, shiny world, came home in the end. Did all the right things.
    Married and bred.
    I often wonder how my mother would have managed if I hadnt?

    I never thought of this issue till once at the snow aout 6 years back, was chatting to an Italian lady taking a rest. She burst into tears and told me that not one day goes by that she does not wish and pray that her children were back home again.

  8. That painting is very beautiful.

    I feel for you from a daughter's point of view. She will miss you too.

    When I left the UK to be with my husband in Australia, I missed my family(but I am only a 24 hr plane ride away). Your daughter is nearer thatn you think. Take heart.

  9. HHB is right. With your retirement coming, think of those nice mother and daughter trips to London you can have, doing interesting things together. You'll always be there for her.

    And I do think it helps that you're honest about your feelings, rather than being manipulative and bitter and pretending that the grief and loss is something else, and being horrible to her out of your own sense of pain. My mum, bless her, was a bit like that and it made me want to stay away more, and made everything much more complicated, still does even now she's gone.

    The picture is gorgeous.

  10. Try to rejoice in giving your children the strength and confidence to be free. I am more 'in touch' with my son on the other side of the world than when he was in the same country, or even in the same house. We both put much more effort and care into our contact.
    As you say about your painting - we don't own anything. We are guardians for a while, no more.

  11. I have been blog-absent for a while, too, and I just came back to make sure everyone was still where I left them.

    Love, love, love that painting. I could lick the cherries.

  12. I think we can only try to remember how we felt when we left home. I certainly was so keen to go and never regretted it for a moment, but it I didn't stop me going back when I could, or ringing up for advice, or still missing my parents more than 20 years after they both died. The realtionship changes but it never ends.

  13. It is hard to let go but you have given your children a wonderful gift in a strong and loving family relationship.London is not impossibly far away and just think of the new (perhaps a bit different) relationship you can build with your daughter as she moves into new circumstances.

    The painting is beautiful; how much pleasure will it give you!

  14. I always think your family sounds very close and loving, so I feel for you being separated. My fingers are crossed that you will always be able to organise lots of time to be in touch, in this age of communication and efficient transport.

  15. Oh, I am so sorry about that. I do hope you'll be able to see each other very often!!

  16. That painting was worth every penny. When you look at it remember that no matter the distance your children are always in your heart.

  17. I prefer realistic in art, but do like some abstract paintings. I am ignorant but 'know what I like'.
    I feel your pain regarding your daughter, & the chap. Our daughter is marrying in November, and I am having a really hard time being 'up' for her. She will not be moving away from us, so I should not be too bereft.