Mary Branscombe (marypcb) wrote,
Mary Branscombe

Closing a chapter

We won't complete until September 10 but we'll be in the US then, so after the carriers from the auctioneer loaded up everything from my mum's house today I dropped the keys off with the lawyer. The nice neighbour who is buying the place is happy to pop what's not saleable (pots, pans, the bed and the garden shed kipple) in a skip when he renovates, so the only thing left to arrange is getting the freezer from meals on wheels picked up. I found a few last things today; twenty quid in a book of poetry I picked up to take home because mum loved John Donne, a handful of photos fallen behind a radiator, my dissertation under the bed. We also took the spare front door because it has pretty stained glass and we've been wanting a door with glass in to light up our stygian inner hall. With much good will and jiggling we crammed it into the back of the car (if we can get a 37" tv in...), causing lamentables to ask if there was any house left when we dropped in for tea. We drove carefully and slowly, which is a bit how I feel. I always have this huge list of Stuff To Do and I never get to the end of it because more stuff always appears; sometimes I feel more head down, slaving away and sometimes I feel more sailing through it. We've got a bunch of stuff done recently and it looks like the front room windows are finished (ten years on, almost!) and the kitchen is a lot tidier, and there must be other stuff to tick off.
Mum's house - once my home for a few years - is different. I took a few minutes to think about all the work tanais and I did on the place, about good things that happened there, about sitting by the fire in the front room with the cats and getting the call asking why I hadn't turned up for the first day of a job they forgot to write to me about, about Cicero sleeping on my record deck in the sun. We've done a lot of work clearing over so many months and mum was always moving stuff around so seeing it cluttered up felt normal, but seeing it empty, closing the door and leaving for the last time - that was an ending and it leaves me feeling a little bruised, a little slow and without enough energy for slogging through the to do list before we head off on the next trip.
Some of this may be down to having a fun evening out with friends yesterday and coming home to find some cipy had gone astray and needed digging out and resending; meaning a late night before our early start. But although I'm keeping and celebrating pieces of it on my own life with Simon, today was the end of the collection of places and objects and memories that my mum lived her life in.

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