A message of Hope
Today as I cycled my way home a severely disabled young man was hobbling sideways down the street and rested awkwardly on a shop window. The lights were red so I was slowing down. We caught each others eye and he gave me the biggest smile and blinked his eyes at me as if he knew me. It was such a lovely moment, it made my day.
Then I found this video by chance and everything this young man says is true.
It was about the lives of a number of different families and how their actions impact on each other down through the generations.
He packed the family lives into a couple of chapters, one moment they were young and then they were old or dead.
I don’t want my life to be packed into a couple of chapters and then just fade away. Not yet anyway.
I have just sold my house and I’m waiting for the final contracts to be signed.
Do I feel sad? No not at all. I’m reflecting on my time there but I intend to hand over the keys, get on my bike and never look back. I’ll have a farewell party and I’ll take pictures but I’m moving on.
What has kept me in Catford so long? My son? My friends? My house? My family? First of course it was my son, how could I move? Secondly I guess my family, that would be my daughter who is married and has children and to be honest with you she no longer needs me. Oh people say but what about your Grandchildren? Well what about them?
My eldest grandchild who was born a day after Richies funeral never, ever comes to visit. Why would he? He’s 16. My middle grandchild is a funny sensitive child and the youngest, my little darling Grand-daughter is a lively little bundle of joy. But they have their own personalities, they are not interested in their mad old nan. They love me but they have their own rich full lives to lead, so I my work here is done.
I live alone, isolation and loneliness has been terrible for me. I isolated myself away when Richie first died I didn’t want anyone around but I did that so proficiently I hardly have any of my old friends come around.
Talking of friends, will I stay around for them? They are no longer young friends, we have all changed and moved on, I hardly drink anymore and I hate pubs so I don’t meet with them. I have made new friends and in making new friends it has shown me myself in a different light.
The barriers that I surrounded myself with have all come tumbling down. The barriers put up to protect myself from abusive parents, the barriers to keep the domestic violence out, and the barriers to hide the true person that I am from myself.
I ask myself who is the real person? She is adventurous, she likes a laugh, she is artistic, She hates violence and mean hearts. She hugs trees and talks to flowers. She cycles without a helmet because she wants to be free. She is a sound recordist and writer. She is free.
The childhood area and the young adult person I used to be has gone, it has gone into the memories of the past, it’s no good looking for the person I used to be or the friends I used to have they have all gone.
W.H Smiths the stationers in Catford Mall is shutting down, people don’t buy books from there any more and most artistic endeavours are done on a laptop. One of the ladies in the shop has been there for 40 years, wow a long time. I used to go into W.H.Smiths all the time, it made me happy, it was a regular habit, it made me feel grounded in my own area. It’s going and so am I we both have to keep up with the present. I have to move with the times or become a fusty, musty old lady with regrets
I see myself ageing in the friends I look at, I look out of my front room window and see an old neighbour who used to be young, she hobbles down the road, she dresses like an older lady, that in its self is fine but its not fine for me. I don’t feel ready to hobble down Catford Hill.
I’m ready to release the assets in my home and travel. I’m off to America on the quintessential road trip, I’m going alone and I intend to savour every moment of it until I have to come home again. I will never live alone again, I have made plans to move in with a family.
If I wasn’t going to move in with the family I would look for a commune full of artistic people to live with.
I’m finally free.