Friday, May 30, 2008

In the park with family

Today is the 23rd anniversary of my sister’s death. Partly by chance and partly by design I spent the day with my mum, one of my brothers and his two kids. We went to the park opposite the house in which we grew up. There is a tree there that a friend had planted soon after my sister died, and another that we planted three years ago.

There was a party shop by the bus stop and my brother had the bright idea of getting a shiny helium balloon to tie to one of the trees. So, we did that and ate picnic lunch and drank tea from the cafe. The four kids were playing quite happily today – the girls using Pearlie’s walkie talkies and the boys seeking staffs and forbidden cities in the bushes.

Being in that area of town is always a bit odd. Everything is smaller than I remember and I realise how often the house I grew up in features in my dreams. I sometimes wonder what it would be like to live near there again. Wondering is as far as it’ll ever get as all the houses now cost at least 400 thousand!

It is a park full of memories for all of us. One of the few baby photos of me is of me sitting on a rug (seven or eight months old maybe?) in that park with my grandmother – my mum’s mum. There are photos, taken on the same day, of my siblings in a tree that is still there.

We walked back to my mum’s place – along the roads that were my route home from junior school. We drank more tea and played some word games with the girls. The boys were busy making up complex tombola style games where you won coupons to join their organisation! My brother and I walked our kids back to our part of town. All four kids are very stalwart walkers, thank goodness.

When we got in we made pizzas for tea and now Dani and Pearlie have gone to Critical Mass. I know that there is no reason why it is any more or less dangerous for them today, but I am a bit more twitchy!

My poor mum has had a strange week as she was ready to go to hospital for a cataract operation on Tuesday. When she phoned on Monday night the whole list of people for Tuesday had been cancelled. It had actually been cancelled weeks ago but human error meant that no-one had told her. I know that people have much more stressful waits for more serious conditions, but it was still upsetting for her. That is not good as she is struggling to keep her blood pressure down. Anyway, she’s due to have it done next Tuesday. Fingers crossed it all goes ahead this time.

I am intending to post something about western medicine and the NHS but it’ll take some mulling over.


Liza said...


Nic said...

And from me, a good day to be with family xxx

alison said...

My mum's just found out she's got a cataract. Hope your mum doesn't have to wait too long for the rescheduled operation.

Anonymous said...

It feels strange and hollow and empty and full going back to places in that way.

My dad was a great one for traipsing around the great city we live (almost) near. he loved the little cafés and parks, and had a whole routine involving stopping off here and there while doing his shopping. I can't go round that city without thinking: "Oh theres the place we had that ace pasta!" or "Theres the shop where we went that day and he followed me round the shop carrying all the clothes I was gonna try on.." etc..

In the weeks after his death all I could do was to wander round that city. It somehow brought me closer to him whilst being surrounded by the fact that he is no longer actually 'here'. I sat alone in places we had once sat together.

I don't suppose the space a person leaves when they go is ever 'filled' again is it? I suppose we get used to living with that space in our lives.

I am sorry about your sister's death Allie and I hope that your mum's op goes well and as scheduled.


EF x

Allie said...

Thanks, everyone.

EF, you're right about the space never being filled. But, it's all so long ago now and the unfilled space is an integral part of who I am - who we all are. It is no bad thing, that space.

My mum's op should be going ahead today.