Two days ago, my daughter-in-law and I returned to my former home to hopefully finalise packing my things. we had been there a week before and packed most of my books and some other stuff. My husband was surprisingly polite, too polite in my estimation. However, he stayed out of our way and we packed up in pouring rain. The grey skies suited my mood. I had been extremely nervous for several days before we went but had been buoyed by the support of many friends and my family. Some friends rang me from interstate on the morning and this touched my deeply.
This week I did not feel too bad as we went. However we had a fairly sullen and surly reception although we were not hindered. This time I took my clothes and the remaining things on my list of items. Sentimental value was attached to most and some were family heirlooms.
I was surprised at my reaction yestrday. I felt as if a piece of string had snapped. I was weepy and morose. Today I was just plain tired from lack of sleep but I started sorting. He had thrown my clothes into bags and I had to go through everything. I have a smallish room opening onto a large balcony. It is important to me that I keep this room as pleasant as possible. It's my private retreat. Lots of boxes are already in the garage and I'm trying to go through others and see that I keep only what I really want.
As my heading says, so many years in so few boxes. A few dozen boxes of books, and about the same again of keepsakes, a good dinner set, heirlooms and some clothes. Is this all for that time? I took my sewing machine, but left a lot of kitchenware and saucepans. All my spices are still in the cupboard and the breadmaker. Everyday essentials like pegs and laundry baskets I left behind.
Why? They are just things. To me they are not worth fighting over. They can be replaced. Many of my books are out of print and hard to find. How could I replace the Mother's Day cards made by my sons in kindergarten? What about my small steam tug from my own childhood which runs on candle power and chugs noisily around in a bathtub of water? It is from such things that memories come. Anything else can be replaced or done without. Memories there are in plenty and they have come rushing to the surface as I sorted. There are good memories among them. Things were not always bad.
However, after my sorting today and the apology offered by the Prime Minister to Aborigines, I am exhausted. It has been an emotional day.