Last week I went with my husband to remake our wills, and it seems to have started a chain re-action in myself to get things sorted out. Now I have to admit that I am a hoarder, I have cards, letters and papers from where I was very young, along with various papers & cards which I have kept from when Mum died and also Dads bits and bobs.
So I started, and what an emotional journey it has taken me on. I found an old school report where I had come 2nd out of a class of 48, I could see myself again taking it home to Mum and Dad, Mum was thrilled, but I can still hear my dad saying “when you come 1st that is when you can be pleased with yourself”. I can remember crying myself to sleep that night, I dont think I ever quite got over that. I never did come first !
I found a poem that I had written to my Mum when I left home at sixteen, I did not know that she had kept it until I came across it a few years ago after she died, I can still see myself in the horrible little bedsit I had, writing to her, really wanting to be home but knowing that I could not.
I discovered a tiny little red notebook that I had written in when I was planning my wedding when I was eighteen. In it I have a list of the guests that we were inviting, a menu of the food that we wanted for the reception (only a buffet) the pattern of the wedding dress that my Mother-in-law made for me (she was lovely,) there was also a note of what we were putting on our wedding list. A bit different from todays lists, it had things like egg cups, t-towels, dusters, and then the more expensive items like sheets, towels, pillow cases and really hopefully saucepans and a teaset !!
I have the cards that I had for my 21st birthday, along with the cardboard silver keys, (you were not considered adult until you were 21 then), I remember being really put out because at 19 I had to get my husbands signature to get a library card (he was 21 !!). Can you imagine that happening today ?
Next I rediscovered the cards I had for the births of my two lovely daughters Sorry cannot ever get rid of those, that will be down to them when they have to sort through my stuff !
I sat for ages going through papers charting the following years, eventually feeling incredibly sad when I got to my divorce and the pain and heartache that we all went through, I must admit that I did shed quite a few tears again, remembering.
Anyway I decided that it was time I stopped going down memory lane and start shredding, what a marathon job that turned into I shredded my very first payslip (£3.0s 6d from my job as office junior at BHS) plus dozens of following wage slips from over the years, bank statements from 1991, letters and quotes from various firms, newspaper cutting, recipes cut from magazines, also diets from same magazines (never tried but for some reason I had hung onto to them). We have been in our house now for over thirty years, and I dont think either me or my husband can EVER have thrown anything away !!!
I still have to go through a big suitcase full of cards that I have had over the years, but I cannot face that just yet ! Can you believe that we have 5 big sacks of shredded paper to go out for the recycling —- I am exhausted !
I have found it an incredible journey really and I am left wondering what happened to the child, young girl, young wife and mother that I was. I suppose we all eventually wonder that.
Anyway I am feeling quite proud of myself for at least making a start — must be time for a celebration