Leaving my home and family has been one of the hardest things I have ever had to do. Moving is stressful. Moving to a new country is heart-breaking. One has to leave so much behind. Emotionally, it cost me plenty. When one is away from one’s own country, one becomes very patriotic. One remembers only the good moments, the best of one’s land. I coped with the extreme loneliness, the heart-ache, by taking my sad emotions and placing them carefully inside an intricately carved emotion box, which resides inside my imagination. I closed the box and looked at it. I sat on my box. Some days I stand on my box. Mostly I am aware that my box exists, but I don’t interact with it.
I am back in South Africa to spend time with my mom and with my dad, as he lies in hospital. I keep them both in my thoughts all the time: I send positive energy-thoughts to them, willing them both to be strong.
I am also here to pack up my home of 25 years. Twenty five years of objects (memories). Some are difficult to part with. Some I cannot part with - the select few sentimental objects are going to be shipped to us. There is a wardrobe and dressing table made by Tom’s dad for Ariel – made form the floor boards of the house where Oupa was born. My dad made a beautiful rocking horse for our twins when they were little boys: my grandchildren will someday rock on Dobbin, made with love , by Grandad. We spent many hours in Cape Town looking for a dressing table for me, years ago. I knew the instant I saw it that this was what I had been looking for – even though it is slightly fire damaged, I adore my antique dressing table. I wish I knew the history of it. There is a showcase full of crockery from Tom’s mom, with an Italian history. There is a little salt-and-pepper set dating back to the de Medici family which has been bequeathed to Ariel. These will come with us.
So many things will be given to family and friends. Some will be sold. Tom has had an emotional few weeks of packing up his workshop. So many tools that he has made over the years to do his knife-making have already been sold. The last few, he would love to ship to the UK in the hope that he will, on a smaller scale, recreate a workshop to be able to make knives again… Parting with memories is easier said than done.
Today when we arrived home from a family lunch (it is the birthday of my brother Lionel - who doesn't read blogs!), there was a “For Sale” sign outside our home. It was like a punch in the stomach. Our home of memories is really going to be sold… No-one will love and appreciate it like we do. All the years of growing up with our children, our family, our friends. The years of sharing, entertaining, building, making, digging, growing. Growing old[er]. All will melt away into our memories…
My memory box will house all the years of love, laughter, happiness, sadness, stress and worry. Because that is part of who I am.
Someday, I will be able to look inside the box, and carefully take all the sad emotions and I will insert them inside red balloons. I will tie red ribbons to the balloons and walk out to the pier overlooking the sea. I will let the sad-emotion-balloons go. When I am ready…