As I'm sure some of you realise – I'm still off work with bereavement. It has been and remains very difficult to cope with the loss of my mother and the reality that I now have no parents. I have had various medical and work appointments this week in relation to my well being. There have been times this week, when I have simply not been able to do a single thing, but simply sit, snooze and contemplate my entire life and wonder which path I will follow next? Or should I remain on the same old familiar path? Who knows what I will do next year. I spend a lot of time looking at property on "rightmove", which is a complete waste of time to be honest, as I don't have my house on the market yet, but it will be by Spring. Then there is the question of what to do with our parent's house. My winter evenings will be spent sorting through everything in my house, in preparation to sell up and move by Spring/Summer 2019.
My sisters and I are struggling to cope with the house contents at my parent's house – some items are going to auction, some will be sold elsewhere, some we are taking, but there are many items that none of us want. I counted 438 books that were only a small part of my mother's book collection, that we didn't want and were not of any significant value – 165 of these have been sold to a book shop this week – the others will probably end up in a charity shop. My parents were both terrible hoarders and this now falls on us to sort out.
We feel like we are destroying the house – it has been our family home for over fifty years. Every familiar item moved and boxed up is another memory erased. Lucy, Vivien and I had some amusement this week, when we found the large box of plastic 'Britain' animals we used to play with: farm animals, zoo animals, gates, houses, wigwams, toy cars and the list goes on – we transported ourselves back in time and found ourselves putting animals back together – the elephant's head needed to be reattached, the horse rider needed to go back on the right horse and so on! The saddest thing about all these possessions is that none of us have children to pass these sentimental treasures on to. My father had squirrelled away all our drawings and paintings we had created since birth! What are we supposed to do with them?! Christmas list requests we had written to 'Father Christmas' – had us in stitches! Lucy and Vivien had both requested ballet shoes with blocks – they never got them!
My father had kept every copy of every single letter he had sent to anybody over his entire life it seems! There is far too much stuff to shred, so we will be having a big bonfire soon! He had so many folders stuffed full of things, which you could have put straight in the shredding sack, but after we found some original drawings of birds mixed in with 'rubbish', this forced to check between every single piece of paper and newspapers cuttings in all the other folders! A long and tedious job. Both my parents kept nature and life diaries, going back to the 1950's and are fascinating to read, but right now we don't have the time. Every nature article my mother had published, every poem, every letter – all collected into scrap books and the same with my father! Also, my father's yet unpublished autobiography is something I really need to get done, when everything has settled.
There are two large sheds to clear, which is another massive job for a later date. I am still feeding the birds in the garden and keeping the feeders and bird table full, but soon this will all stop, as we will soon be returning to our normal lives – whatever normal is! My sick leave ends this Sunday and I am officially on holiday from Monday, as I had booked next week off for birding a year ago. But, I won't be able to do much birding, as there are so many things to do before I return to work on phase return, the following week on 22nd October.
The cat appeared again today, under the large willow tree, looking very happy to be back in 'her' garden. I hadn't got the heart to take her back to the pub again. I made a fuss of her and we sat together on the old chair, by one of father's old moth traps and gazed out across the meadow. I wonder what she was thinking and if she understood what was going on and why we had abandoned her? I left her there and returned to the house and didn't look back. I didn't see her any more later on, so presumed she had made her way across the meadow to her old and now new home.