I've started clearing out Mum's house ready for sale, now that we know she can never move home. It's an emotional process as you can no doubt imagine. I lived in that house from the age of about 14 and although I moved away to Uni at 18, I've celebrated my engagement, my wedding tea, two of my children's christenings and obviously numerous Christmases and Birthdays there. I will be sad to say goodbye.
However, it's been a real pleasure 'revisiting' photographs and items that have a strong pull to the past.
This is one of my favourite photos of me, aged about 2 with my brother, who is 8 years older. It never fails to make me smile!
My mother has a lovely friend who made her this gardening pinny for her Birthday. It has Mum's initial in and a pocket for her to carry her phone with her, as I always insisted that she had a phone with her EVERY time she went into the garden (the garden is a death trap with steps, lots of different levels, uneven surfaces etc etc!). I loved the fact that she had gone to the effort of making Mum this personalised apron, so as Mum is no longer going to be able to wear it, I have brought it home.
My initial is J, so I decided to 'embroider' (I have never even picked up an embroidery needle before, so I use that term loosely for fear of insulting all those of you who are skilled!) a simple Mrs above, so I now have my very own gardening pinny. I have worn it every day so far as you can see my the fact it already needs a wash and it's so useful to have a dedicated gardening pinny with a big pocket.
There is still a huge amount of sorting to do at the house, but I'm not going to rush at it. It's all part of the process of dealing with the loss of my mother despite her still being alive and I feel I owe it to her and to myself to remain very mindful of our relationship and who Mum was as I work through the clearance.