Sunday, 8 July 2012

Part of the Process

Today I packed up my Mum's clothes and divided them up, some for charity, some for my sister-in-law (she is closer to my Mum's size) some for the local amateur dramatics people, as some of it is pretty retro and they will probably appreciate it, and some for me and my girls.

You can't help but contemplate your own life and wonder does it just come down to a load of black bin bags.

Mum's on the right

Of course, there were oodles of memories; the outfit Mum wore to my wedding, the one she wore to the christenings of my children. Her gardening clothes, her old polka dot pink pajama's which I remember her wearing when I was a child. (These were so worn out I had to throw them away).

And then there were all the other clothes that must have been pre-me. The rather lovely nightie that I can't help wondering if it was the one she had for her wedding night. (I was too shy to ask Dad, and he's a man AND it was 56 years ago, so I doubt he would remember...and there may follow one of his 'stories' if I did ask...shudder)

There were loads of new packs of stockings. I never remember her wearing stockings! And black slips...again, I never remember her wearing a black slip, they are quite sexy... Hmmm my Mum as a sexy thing (again...shudder) and swiftly moving on....There are things we just shouldn't know!


We have the internet, our children will read our Facebook statuses and our tweets, our blogs. They will know more than they want to know about us. My parents came from a generation where it was polite to be private, where you didn't talk about 'things'.

And if unpleasant things happened they were nicely repressed and tucked away.

I have no doubt there was more to Mum than I knew, or will ever know. I know Mum and Dad had problems when they tried to have kids, but I don't really know what they were.

I remember my Dad saying when his Mum died, as he was sorting through her stuff, that he had realised he didn't know her at all. (There followed a tortuous few months of over-sharing from Dad, which my 18 year old self really didn't appreciate).

But, although today was hard and there is still the spare room with the other wardrobe to go through, mostly, it just helped me remember Mum. Her smells, the things I wasn't allowed to play with as a child (her kid leather, over the elbow, opera gloves ), her practicality, her inability to throw anything away (seriously ANYTHING...again...shudder - the bin is also full). I suppose it is just part of the process but weirdly, I feel better for having done it.

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