Saturday, 30 March 2013

Its not everyday

its not everyday that your mum gets a letter published in the Guardian, a letter that is about you and your siblings.. today I read this, a letter to me and my for brothers, about her loss and our past lives..

A Letter To My Five Children

by  My Mum

A letter to … My five children, who have all left home

The letter you always wanted to write
I always meant to have five of you. I'm not entirely sure why; maybe I thought it would make a "proper" family, or perhaps, in some vague, unformed way, that when one day we weren't around then at least you would have each other. Yet now, looking back at the naive innocent who came to such a momentous decision, I realise that I had no concept of the enormity of what I was about to do … the financial consequences; the sleepless nights; the sheer physical and emotional exhaustion; the loss of "self" and, actually, the pain it would cause. But this morning, lying sleepless in the cold, early hours, a heavy tear creeps quietly down my face because I miss you all so very much … It's happening again as I write.
As the first of you waved goodbye, smiling, bound for university on the train, my whole body convulsed with a great sob, as if a physical part of me were being wrenched away. Then slowly, one by one, over months and years, you all left, returning at intervals for weeks or months between jobs or flats or courses until now, you all seem settled and happy and properly gone.
With the leaving of each one of you that feeling never went away; it never got any easier …
Today, I am remembering so vividly our dinner table most nights, surrounded by you all, as well as your extra friends – "We've got enough haven't we?" – passing out mismatched plates and extra "emergency" forks from the charity shop. You all laughing and bickering about who sits where and discussing the pros and cons of last night's gig and tomorrow's jam: "Hey, listen up – I made this one today!" And you swinging your guitar round and playing so well, and all the others joining in with makeshift percussion; hands on table, forks on mugs, "And if you do this! [Quick demo of fingers drumming side of fridge] It would be sick!" Then whoops and hollers and shouts; a cacophony of rhythm and strumming and voices singing and shouting all at once.
And that was how it was a lot of the time. If you weren't holding forth or playing music or fishing raisins out of muesli and eating with fingers, you would be practising, or watching films upstairs, then bursting in, "Have you seen this? You have to watch this bit, it's ace!"
There were messy, horrid bits too; arriving home mid-afternoon to the pungent smell of cold, greasy frying pans with traces of piggy bacon and flaccid egg white; plates stacked precariously by the sink, crusty crumbs scattered. On the floor, hillocks of filthy jeans and T-shirts; grimy underwear and stiffened, sweaty socks, all smelling vaguely of pub and roll-ups and old trainers.
Upstairs under beds and on sills the detritus of last week's coffee and pizzas; encrusted mugs and plates delicately furred with pale mould. In the sitting room, great scuffed boots lying like dead things by the cold ashes in the fireplace; coats strewn, hats tossed, socks screwed into balls, bags sprawled open, the remains of last night's roll-ups littering the frayed Persian rug.
The days are mostly silent now as we write or read or draw our days away. No guitar and drum, no strains of Radio 1. Gone the random thrash and boom of the watched action thriller. Gone the greasy washing up, the piles of clothes enforcing the daily hum and thrub of the washing machine. Gone the laughter and the joy, the irritability and the frustration, the strum of instruments jamming. It's too quiet now. Mutti