Drum roll

drummers-642540_960_720.jpgI don’t usually write posts of this flavour, but I feel moved to put my thoughts on record, and where better than on WP, where I feel understood…

My eldest grandson applied to three Universities, all of them in Bristol. His first choice was UWE – the Universtiy of the West of England, but he was convinced that he wouldn’t get in, because he hasn’t worked hard enough at college, and his grades aren’t good enough to fulfil the official requirements. He knew they wouldn’t be anything to brag about, long before he got his results.

He didn’t think any of the Universities would accept him, so he made arrangements to do a degree in the local college where he’s been studying for the past couple of years, but it’s not the degree he would have chosen, and the college has no great reputation for its music. In addition, this town is no place for young people right now, for reasons I won’t go into. He needs to get away and have a chance to grow up outside the confines of his home.

He lost his laptop charger a few weeks ago, and hasn’t bothered to open his emails on another laptop because he didn’t expect to receive any important ones. Today he got a new charger, and he finally checked through his emails.

This evening, whenΒ  my daughter Claire rang me with the news, I broke down and cried. I’m still not sure whether my tears were of joy or grief – both, I suppose. I have dried my eyes, but even now I can feel a pricking sensation behind the lids.

Daaa daaa daa daa da da dadadadrdrdrrrr (that’s a drum roll)

His results don’t matter. He has been offered an unconditional place in UWE because they were so impressed with his music!

His birthday is on the 19th September, but we’ll have to celebrate early, because that’s the day he starts his University course.

I watched him come into this world, my beautiful first grandchild, and I’ve stayed close to him throughout the years. I find it hard to express my love, but I love him; I cannot describe how much I love him. We’ve been though a lot together, and many times I’ve feared for his future. No doubt my fears will recur, as it is in the nature of love. That aside, he has given me many causes to be proud, particularly on the many occasions when he’s picked me up when I’ve been down. He reminds me of his father, who sadly died before Mark was born. He was also very musical, and I know that he, too, would be very proud to see the man his son is becoming.

I feel foolishly emotional tonight, and am unable to put my thoughts across clearly. I’m happy that UWE has so confidently held out its arms to Mark, but I’m going to miss him terribly. I can feel a band tightening across my chest. I have to stop writing about this.

The Daily Post Prompt #Eyes.

Β©Jane Paterson Basil

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45 thoughts on “Drum roll

  1. Well for heaven sakes, girlfriend! Why WOULDN’T you feel all emotional? It’s quite an accomplishment! But you didn’t say what KIND of music? Please enlighten us. Also, it’s natural that you’d be concerned since you feel the area is not best place for him. And he WILL be away from home, right? Now this is a kid who has a lot of artsy stuff going on in his soul. He’s the one who wrote the poems, right? Something tells me he’s watched his Grandma turn into a hell of a survivor the past few years and he knows the ropes. So just be very, very proud of him and make sure he knows he can come to you with anything! πŸ˜€ ❀

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    1. Yes, Mark is the one who wrote the poems. He writes what may be termed rap, or slam, or whatever, but his lyrics are very different. To my shame I’m not sure what his studies will consist of, but the course has the word “production” in it. I’m going to find out more on Tuesday, when we have a job to do together.
      Yes – he’s seen more than he should have had to. At 15, he saw me give Paul CPR, and saw the paramedics fighting for his life. The stress from Paul’s behaviour tore into the relationship between Mark and I, but we recovered.
      He knows I’m always there for him – he can and does tell me anything – but I’ll remind him anyway.

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  2. Congratulations to Mark! An exciting time awaits him. I know just how you feel Jane, having had my oldest fly the coop so recently. It’s a mixture of feelings. You’ll both be fine. My Marc is now immersed in Defence Force training being yelled at and whipped into shape to become a part of a well oiled team. But he doesn’t regret his choice. And he phones home far more often than I expected he would to chat to us. You have a strong bond with your grandson that will keep you connected regardless of physical distance.

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    1. I thought of you last night, when I finally stopped crying (tears of both joy and loss). As so often recently, you lead the way, while I follow your example πŸ™‚
      Yes, in the armed forces it’s all about being shouted at, but that’s nothing personal…

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      1. Glad to pave the way – *hugs* πŸ™‚ Yes, Marc does acknowledge it’s not personal and has not been the brunt of any directed at him specifically. Not yet anyway. He says it’s really full on and exhausting but not regretting it.

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    1. I hope so. It drove him off the rails, initially – we couldn’t prevent my two delinquents (my youngest daughter is no better than her brother) from dragging him around the houses, introducing him to things he shouldn’t have seen. It could have been disastrous, but he’s moved away from that scene, and now he incorporates his resulting wisdom into his music.

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  3. I remember us chatting about this before the summer. Amazing news, Jane! It just shows you, talent will out. He proved how valuable he would be to UWE through the high quality of his music – really, really thrilled for him.
    It’s going to be hard for you, of course, having him away from you. But he’ll come back in the holidays (and they have a lot of holidays) and you can always pop over to Bristol to see him, though I warn you if you do, I may have to insist we meet for coffee while you’re in town πŸ™‚
    Many congratulations to your clearly very talented boy

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                    1. Autumn’s lovely, but I have difficulties with it as I hate christmas so much that I begin to dread it as soon as the leaves start falling. I have to get over that. You’re right – we need some amber and gold in our lives πŸ™‚

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                    2. I don’t mind Christmas, but work is exhausting on the run up and sometimes in the past it’s meant I spend Christmas Day as a zombie, fit for nothing but slumping and dozing. I like the run up to Christmas, but it starts TOO BLOODY EARLY. What is the matter with us that we have to start planning the damn day at the start of September? It’s not us, of course, so much as retailers. The whole thing makes me furious – no wonder the holiday is such a huge disappointment every year. It’s built up to be this huge, glorious event that has to be perfect, that you have to buy EVERYTHING for, or there’s something lacking in you. Sorry, sorry. Christmas rant over for now, though I’m sure it will surface again over the next weeks and months … πŸ™‚

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                    3. Thanks for that rant – now I don’t have to take the trouble…
                      Except to add that I have a further problem with Christmas – the booze. Everyone goes crazy in Tescos, piling up their trolleys with alcohol as if that’s all it’s about. I buy a bottle of (non alcoholic) lemongrass and ginger and one of elderflower, then sit around thinking about the family’s addictive tendencies while I watch my family swigging wine and lager. It makes me want to cry.
                      Last year was different. Ask me why.
                      OK, I’ll tell you – I had two drinks and became the funniest, cleverest and most interesting person in the world, (Translation: I made a fool of myself πŸ™‚ ) and made my family look even more beautiful.
                      I could so easily fall into a vat of brandy and never come out…

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                    4. Haha! The only way to cope with Christmas is to drink, though of course it’s also the reason so many people file for divorce in the New Year πŸ™‚ You can’t have been the most interesting person in the world, Jane, because that’s me after half a glass of prosecco.

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                    5. We’ll have to get together and hold a competition – you with your half glass of prosecco and me with my thimble of brandy πŸ™‚
                      I’ll bring my large crocodle with the curled tail, and prance around with it hooked over my arm, repeating over and over again to everyone who’ll listen and also those who won’t “Look at me, I’ve got a crocodile handbag.” That’s entrtained my family and friends for over twenty years. When they push me out the door and lock it behind me I know they’re only having a joke with me, and it is funny when I wake up in the morning to find people stepping over me on the pavement πŸ™‚

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                    6. Ah, yes, the Gutter Bed – the long held favourite of the professional inebriate. The handbag sounds very fashionable – was he expensive? How do you persuade him to curl round your arm – crab sticks? I’ll join you and we can toast to what cheap dates we are πŸ™‚

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                    7. Ah – the crocodile came from a jumble sale. It was just a plastic toy – about18″ long with a curled round tail – unfortunately, after about 15 years of me annoying my girls with my little joke, EVERY TIME I had a glass of wine, it went missing…
                      See you in ‘spoons at 8 tonight. I’ll drop into B&Q on the way and pick up some Magnolia emulsion and we’ll paint the town πŸ™‚

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                    8. Haha! Love the idea of ‘Mum and her plastic crocodile’ every time the brandy comes out. I think I should find myself a plastic animal. Perhaps a giant sloth. I do like sloths πŸ™‚ I’ll fetch my roller (for painting the town of course)

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