Thursday, May 31, 2007

Leaving this house....

Today is the last bit of day I spend in this little house that has been so good to me.

I've wandered the echoing rooms and said goodbye to each one. Memories come flooding in. Each of my daughters has lived here, my granddaughter lived here. A love of my life shared the space for a while. My father, RIP, was the guest of honour at a dinner party here, my annual women's brunch was held fourteen times here, many who attended have passed on.

My daughter thanked me yesterday for doing this packing up. You see most children are left to empty out the family nest when the parent dies. I and my siblings had to do it for my father. Scrape over the pieces and all the emotions attached to them and squabble over the blue kitchen jug. She or her sister will never have to do this. It is done.

Everything I own is in storage or given away. The junkman came yesterday and the saddest thing he did was smash the old piano into smithereens and carry it away. No one wanted it. These days few have the space and if they have the desire to play they buy an electronic keyboard.

It feels amazingly light, this feeling I have. Not drenched in sadness, only a light mist of nostalgia.

Last night I celebrated the newly empty garage and parked my car in it for the first time. The space had always been filled with the detritus of my children or my own.

This morning I noticed the buds of the climbing dog-rose from Ireland had burst into bloom and the whole garden was scented as my grandmother's had been in East Cork. A validation of what feels like a new lease on life.

I type this on an old bridge table and a collapsible tin chair in an empty back room with my keystrokes resounding off the empty walls. I wanted to take a picture of the roses for posting here but realized that my camera is in the locker in preparation for the summer trek to Newfoundland.

It is a good farewell, this closing of the door on my Toronto life for now.

I shake the dust off my soul along with my feet and look ahead to finishing the book of short stories, completing a writing assignment on the Jews of Newfoundland, writing the memoir of my mother and converting the barn into a studio/small theatre.

Life over sixty is a gift to be treasured even when we say goodbye. It is never too late to for reinventing ourselves!


  1. A very moving farewell. Good that you're shifting all that stuff that otherwise someone else would have to deal with. I dread sorting out my mum's stuff when she dies as her house is chockablock with accumulated bits and pieces. I keep suggesting she rationalises a little but she won't hear of it. All the clutter makes her feel more secure somehow.

    Can imagine that scent from the dog-rose wafting through the garden. Wonderful!

  2. Thanks Nick - from me on the road trip out to NL. Over 3000KM, each one taking me further away from my Toronto life. In Moncton, NB as I write this.
    This is a good thing !

  3. What a lovely post. I have had a very similar experience when my child finished university.
    Will you continue your blog? From the looks of it, I hope so. I would like to return.

  4. Thank you Lady. Of course I will continue on with the great adventure called life. I'm now parked by the ocean for a few months, more blog to follow.


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