Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Today was weird. I stayed up way too late last night, correcting... because I flaked on Saturday when I should have been doing it. I could cheerfully have slept all day. I keep promising myself I won't do that again, that I'll just do it... and then the next time comes and I can't just do it, somehow. Hours and minutes just slip away.  Today my brain was fuzz.

I went to my father's house to go try and sort through some of the books that were my mothers, There's boxes and boxes of them. Some from a life time ago, so collected over the last years of her life. They're sitting there, in the stable loft outside, getting aged and dusty. So much information, and knowledge. All the things she knew and thought.

He asks me delicately, now and again, if I'd sort them - they're suffering, and it will have been ten years this summer. That's a lot of years to put a task off.

I went out, thinking, ok, I can just drag out the obsolete academic books, the cheesy self help books... but there are all these classics I have no space for that I will probably never read, though I should. There are all these books about how to develop as a person whose message I know I need to learn desperately, but what are the chances I could, even if I read them all? but it's still good information to expose myself to. There's fascinating fiction and fact and opinion. My life was so full of books from the start, some of them there, packed up into boxes and abandoned in a dusty, dirty attic. I discarded a couple trays of them, but there were so many I didn't feel I had any authority to decide on. I felt overwhelmed by the task, helpless.

I have nowhere to put them, I can't keep them all. If they sit there for more decades with no one reading them, what's the point in that? And yet, the task seems gargantuan. Each book seemed to embody a fragment of her care, her interest, the direction she turned herself in. It was surprisingly emotional, I couldn't really cope with it.

I floundered and rang my brother, who agreed it was a two person task and said he'd come help me on Sunday, if we can. I am grateful. It feels good to have someone to share this with. I didn't really when she died, he was too young and running away from it. My sister's interests lie in retribution for past injustices and being looked after, not in looking after anyone else. My brother thinks that he will one day have a library to put a lot of these books in. My instinct is to laugh at his optimism. Why? Because I would feel blessed to have so much as a  utility room? What's wrong with me? It seems I've started passing on my deep rooted hopelessness to other people, now.

After I hung up from him, I looked again at another couple boxes of her things, the leftover things no one had space for, but too beautiful or personal to just give away. The things I didn't feel I had the right to claim. It's like looking through a little treasure collection. I should somehow sell it or give it away, but I still... I don't want that. I want it all to be part of the decor of a house where my mother lives, and I can go see her and be surrounded by it when I need to. Not sitting in second hand shops being sold for pennies. It's been ten years. How can I still not have the emotional resilience to face this? I felt so weak, today. It was even hard carrying boxes down the stairs. I am so weak. Everything fell apart and I put nothing back together, I just let it drift further.

I took some books to the recycling centre and a couple people took one. I wanted to stop them, and tell them, I don't know what? They were my mother's. What difference would it make? Ten year old grief shouldn't have the indulgence of eccentricity at this remove. I restrained myself and went away to the angry miserable child in the car, who'd come out of play school angry and miserable. I've just sent the other angry miserable child to bed angry and miserable because she couldn't watch something on the computer at 9.20. Then she turned and berated me from the stairs for ten minutes about her school, and how the classmate her teacher promised to move her away from before midterm has been making her life miserable, and hurt her today. Her teacher has been out since she got back to school and no one listened to her. She has been bored by the games and meaningless exercises they've played in her absence. She's miserable, and indignant and angry and I have no resilience for getting shouted at. I should be able to take it and let it out and address it and respond and tonight I just wanted to cry, and couldn't face the rage and misery and negativity. That weakness again - which just isn't a luxury a parent's allowed. So yeah, she doesn't feel better either. Long day. 

1 comment:

catherine said...

thats an awful lot of dredging up for one day..think you should def wait and let your brother share the load..god..sounds like a lot of books, your mam must have been very interested and interesting..
as for kids screaming from the stairs..normal . :)