Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Moving On

More often than not, when I'm hovering over that precipice, the one about whether I should or shouldn't do a post about a particular something, I decide to go ahead and write the post. This is no exception, unless I actually don't go ahead and hit the publish button when I'm done.

After all the detail, the turmoil, the anger and the hurt. After the mess and the shock and the guilt and the sadness, the positivity and the happiness, the solicitors and the bills it looks as though things are finally coming to the biggest sort of close.

Yes, the former family home has been sold, completion is due on the 31st of this month and my ex and my daughters will be moving to their new house. I don't think there's ever a thick black line that can be drawn under a marriage when there are children involved but this is definitely a thickish one in fairly dark gray.

It's over a year since I first moved out of the house and cleared out most of my things, but there were still many things there that my ex and I had collected over our almost twenty years together. There were photograph albums, books, CDs and general bric a brac that people build up over the years. All of it has to be sifted through and given a "home", whether that home is her new place, my new place or a rubbish tip.

I spent most of Sunday doing that. And it was sad. And it was happy.

Going through old photographs. What is it about old photographs that we can't resist? I glanced at the contents of a couple of boxes and caught images of the girls when they were babies. I saw one set that showed A's third birthday party. K, at the age of about ten months, was crawling around in bare feet in a Barefoot baby's dress thing.

I saw pictures of family holidays, lots in Sri Lanka. Of the Elephant gathering in Minneriya, still one of the most awe inspiring events I've witnessed. There were snaps of the girls in Poland in the snow, throwing snowballs and wearing scarves, hats and gloves.

Sorting through my CDs was strange. Some of them bring back memories. I'm lucky in that my ex was never into music in the way I am, so most of them are mine anyway. But it felt poignant to pull out the ones that the girls own and to hand them over, kind of like dishing out memories. There you go, that one's yours, this one's mine. So many of them brought back the memories of times past. They reminded me of all that we've been through, of how much the girls have had to grow up so quickly and of how much we've changed.

Britney's greatest hits. They listened to it constantly for so long and they wouldn't dream of listening to it now. But A still insisted on keeping it. It meant something to her. She took the Muse live CD and I put up a bit of a fake fight. I know that she loves Muse and we went to see them together, post separation but still it was us.

Black Eyed Peas, the album that opens with the Pulp Fiction song remixed and rapped over. I think it's called "Pump it". I recalled how me and the girls would listen to it as we washed and cleared up the dinner stuff. Every night for weeks, until we got bored and moved on.

Somewhere in a box I found an old bit of schoolwork done by A when she was much younger. I don't know exactly when but it was called "My Dad".

She wrote about her Dad being cool because he plays the drums, how kind he was because he thinks of others like the rest of his family and of how much she loves him. She calls him the best Dad in the world. It's now sitting on my bedside table. I look at it and it gives me hope that she'll like me again one day. Sometimes it's the waiting that's the hardest part.

As I drove back to the 'rents place the sun was out but getting low in the sky. The colours on the trees are stunning reds, oranges, browns and yellows right now. Almost every other tree looks like a coffee table picture waiting to be taken, as long as your coffee table is red, yellow, brown or orange. Or maybe just plain glass.

I contemplated getting my camera and driving back to Richmond and the riverside to take some pictures myself but decided not to. I decided to savour and enjoy the moment as it was, to use my eyes, my ears and my other senses.

I looked with wonder at the very English sun shining through the very English Autumn leaves. I turned up the music so loud that it shook me, it was Starlight by Muse and it shook me in many ways. I put my foot down and accelerated, feeling the seat push into my back and hearing the engine do its thing.

I laughed out aloud.

Life moves on. Change happens and we deal with things in our own way.

The next chapter is about to start.

For everyone.

1 comment:

Dhammika Dharmawardhane said...

Congrats RD. My best wishes and warmest thoughts for your new journey. May the gods guide and protect you all the way!