From my window, I watch the snow as it dances to the tune of the wind. Unhurried, it rises and sinks, slowly floating toward the ground. It seems too casual to weave a thick blanket, yet the ground becomes increasingly white. Please let me be snowed-in tomorrow. Let the roads be impassable.
If I do much more, I fear I might end up throwing all of my possessions out of the window onto the garden below.
When they ask me why I did it I’ll tell them they are no longer required. If they mention the damage to the flowers, I’ll tell them that they are no longer required, either.
I’ve spent weeks trying to clear my ex-partner’s house on my own. He died a couple of months ago. My son lived there with his girlfriend and he’s been given notice to quit as it’s a rented property. So far, Paul is incapable of making any decisions about what to keep and what to discard. He didn’t want to let anything go until he’d decided, so I’ve been piling his dad’s stuff in my small flat.
I haven’t got room for all of the furniture, and Paul won’t need most of it anyway, so my daughter and her fiance drove down to help, over the weekend. We took some stuff to a charity shop, and we brought a lot over to my small flat. Laura and Dave have been wonderful. I don’t know what I’d have done without their help. I don’t even drive.
It was too late to arrange for any of the charity shops to take anything away, so on Saturday night we had a massive bonfire. It wasn’t my idea, but I was beyond caring. A sofa, three reclining chairs, two leather armchairs, a king-size bed and a lot of other items were burnt to a cinder. There was still more than enough left to fill a one-bedroom flat.
That was intended to be the end of my duties. They have to be out tomorrow. Paul’s girlfriend’s father had vaguely agreed to hire a van for today and tomorrow, collect the things they wanted to keep, and put them in his storage unit. He was also going to dump what was left over. I had a premonition that he would let them down. I was right. I don’t think he ever really intended to help. He’s not even going to let them use his storage unit.
My nephew and sister-in-spirit have kindly agreed to step into the breach. We have nowhere to put the items like the cooker, fridge, freezer, washing machine, a large chest of drawers and their bed, so I’m hoping the landlord of the house we’re clearing will agree to let us store it in the shed outside the house. The place will have to be gutted before it’s fit for new tenants, which will take a while.
We’ll collect their clothes and personal items. I’ll have to somehow find space for them in my flat until they are rehoused. It’s a good thing I’m a genius when it comes to space-saving. I spent today neatly packing what I already have of theirs into the smallest area possible (this includes and Ikea chest of drawers, two Ikea cupboard units, two tall shelf units, a large coffee table, a wardrobe,some smaller pieces of furniture and a lot of boxes of sundries), and separating what I think they won’t immediately need.
My living-room sofa is piled up with bags of goods to be delivered to Oxfam. Under the window I have boxes of tools which I hope to find a home for. By tomorrow evening, I doubt that there’ll be more than a narrow corridor between my bedroom door and my bed. Owing to Paul’s mental health issues, the council are legally bound to rehouse them, so from tomorrow night they should have temporary accommodation. I hope they get rehoused soon.
Until I spoke to my nephew, about twenty minutes ago, I was almost at the end of my tether. I was afraid to allow myself to cry. If I gave in to it now, I might never stop.
Exhaustion is making me weak: I’m bending in the direction of self-pity.
Mothering never ends.
©Jane Paterson Basil