It’s been 22 months since my Mother died, and I’ve managed, finally, to sort through some things I found too sad to organise back then. And also some things I didn’t know I had to sort out. The conclusion: my Mum was a crafty mega-hoarder.
I have a lot of things, I don’t like change and I find it difficult to let go. Many of my possessions were ruined in a flood in 2008 and since then I’ve become a super-keeper. Since beginning to refurbish the house, I’ve gotten better. The only thing I would fight to the death for are my old college files/books/notes. The rest of it I would get rid of… eventually. Art and sewing supplies are the worst as they don’t go off yet you can’t give scraps to charity. I am facing many fabric based choices.
I began tackling our Utility Room (again) as I saw a mouse in the Hall and decided that that was a sign from the Universe.* I found a box of my old shoes. They’re only old in date (2006-8) but they’ve never been worn. I can’t wear high heels, but I desperately wanted too and I got a fetish for them once mainstream shoe shops started doing my size (9). I must have spent most of my wages on heels. Finding them brought back some sad memories, and I’m glad that my local charity shop will be gaining from them. Man, I had good taste and those years produced some beautiful shoes. Fuck. I also found the shoes I wore to my Brother’s wedding (2002/3) which were still perfect, and have lasted longer than the marriage. Since 2002 I’ve been able to walk** and my feet have changed shape, so those shoes are going because my foot would smash them now. And because they can’t be very lucky, can they.
After finding and emptying a big box of my shoes, I discovered 4 boxes of my Mum’s. I’d cleared quite a few when she died, but finding yet more – unworn – was a bit of a shock. I found lots of other stuff bought from QVC (nail varnish, face cream…) and that is also going to charity. Once my Mum stopped working, she must have just shopped.
There has been a marked difference in my feelings going through all the *stuff*. I didn’t feel sad. Before I felt sad that she’d not lived to wear the shoes, use the cream, take the vitamins. This time I chuckled at the mass of items. And also being reminded of my Mum’s taste for the silly. I think she had 3 pairs of pink trainers. This rang nicely with my silly heels – shoes for times, and feet, that never were. So I don’t feel sad. And I don’t feel guilty for getting rid of the stuff. Mum would be more upset at the mice.
Other news: doing all this clearing has fucked up my right shoulder good and proper – the pain is keeping me awake and is barking at me as I type. I always forget that though strong, I’m flimsy.
I was discharged from ENT last week re: SSCD – if or when I want the operation (that was finally described to me) I can ask to be put back on the list. They are also sending me for speech therapy – I’ve been off the caffeine for 6 or 7 months but it’s not helped the underlying problem – my throat feels tight, I can’t produce a singing sound and my voice does disappear. Getting help for this is partly vanity. I am not beautiful, never have been – but I could always produce a good loud noise. I want my noise back. I don’t dye my hair, I don’t use wrinkle cream etc. but I do want my voice to be similar to that is was last November. I want to be able to sing a damn Christmas Carol.
*Universe or Mum – I am not a spiritual person, but I do think sometimes life gives you signs. And I don’t like to ignore things.
** In 1992 I hurt my left ankle on a charity walk, it froze and I limped until I was 22. The foot etc. did not develop and lack of walking left me with long, tiny (size A) fitting feet. I couldn’t even walk up to my local tube station – I had to be driven everywhere and ended up in A&E many times in agony. In 2002 I saw an amazing podiatrist called Ron McCulloch who ‘fixed’ my ankle. I am always in pain in that food, but it rarely goes stiff or swells. I can’t walk miles, but I can totter a bit – it’s variable. I have more problems with my hips, knees and spine re: walking. Now my feet are a normal width though they do not bend properly and are not properly developed re: muscles/tendons, nor are my calves. My thighs on the other hand are massive.