Thursday, February 22, 2007

A little piece of my sadness

I went to the powerhouse museum today. It was fantastic. But quite sad for me really. It made me think of my Nan. She died when I was 16. She used to live in the granny flat behind our house, when my parents were still together. My mum was her carer. When she died my Grandpa lived there for a few more years, but his alziemers made him difficult to deal with, so he went into a nursing home. All of their stuff was packed away and moved into our house, and a boarder took over the flat.

When my parents separated my Mum took what she absolutely needed and moved out. My Dad didn't care about anything in the house. He let his second-wife-to-be go through the house, and anything that she didn't want went straight into the skiff bin. Alot of this stuff was irreplacable. Including
  • All of the medallions I'd won for academic success at high school
  • Photographs. All of the photographs - his wedding pictures, pictures of his dead mother and nephew, family pictures etc
  • Furniture

My Nan collected nick nacks. Well. I say she collected them, but us kids bought her stuff too. I have that from her. If it gathers dust I'll collect it. She had beautiful matching cups and suacers. Probably worth quite a bit of money. I have no idea where they are now. There was a gorgeous antique salmon velvet chair. That was DEFINITELY worth ALOT of money. I have no idea what happened to it. My collectibles. If I hadn't taken it to uni (and who takes anything of value to uni), it was gone. I had a set of ebony and ivory elephants that came from my Nans sister when she died. Gone. The school photos, certifiactes and reports for me, my brother and my sister, from prep to year 12. Same deal with them. I had an extensive collection of plastic horses. There was a quilt cover that was distinctly mine. A gorgeous jungle setting with beautiful red parrots. The embriodery that my nan did. The jewellery that we'd inherited. A longstitch kit that I'd done of two puppies. I'd spent painstaking hours sitting with Nan at night, watching tv, eating Darrell Lea peanut brittle and sewing. Gone. All gone.

Some of the stuff turned up at an ex friend of mines house. One of my longstich tapestries, my Dad's beer brewing cupboard, my Nans deep freeze that she used to store her specialty stewed apples in. That thing must have been as old as me. Her electric fry pan. They knew that seeing all of this stuff at their place got to me. And they were generally ok about it. They offered to give me back the longstitches. But I couldn't take it. It wasn't the same. And it wasn't the special one.

My sister, who worked with him on a daily basis, didn't know what was happening. The 'friends' of mine who acquired so much furniture rang her and told her what was going. And she left work immediately to go collect what she could. She managed to salvage some photos, and my academic medallions. I have no idea what happened to my brother or sisters medallions.
I think that is part of the reason that I will put up with, tolerate and forgive so much. What will lead others to scream "Arsehole" will simply garner a shrug from me. Because until someone does something completely unforgivable, they cannot equal some of the stuff others have already done.


Cazzie!!! said...

My mum put my nan in a nursing home. I hated visiting her there, she was on a decline in performing her activities of daily living. I took her outta there and brought her home with me and my baby son.
Over the years, her children had taken anything of value off of her, including her pension. So, when she came to live with us, we left her pension where it was, in the bank. We paid for everything for her. I got her the best shoes I could find, and the nicest PJ's and clothing too. She deserved it.
She died when my son Tom was 2.5yrs old, Nick was 8weeks old. Tomas still remembers her, everything about her, even her funeral, amazing memory he has.
I still find myself wishing I could bottle her smell..I know it sounds weird, but she was diabetic. ate mostly fruit, so she had a sweet smell all of her own.
I understand your sentiments on, " Because until someone does something completely unforgivable, they cannot equal some of the stuff others have already done.".... my mum and her brothers do not deserve my time, my energy spent being mad at them, they are the ones who missed out completely, they cannot equal that with money or any of nan's belongings.

Huggs to you, don't be sad, be happy you got to enjoy your nan when she lived with you :)

poody said...

Oh honey I am so sorry! I was once a travelling nurse and I travelled all over the US working in different hospitals. I had some of my stuff in storage here in Austin but the rest and this is my childhood stuff and a 3 piece living room set from the 1940's salmon in color at my Grandmother's house. It burned to the ground. I lost all that stuff including my high school annuals and photgraphs etc. I was heartbroken but after all the dust settled it was just stuff. I have the memories forever and my grandmother was safe and sound.She had lost everything and had lived there over 50 years. I am a packrat now and have way too much stuff. Do you even talk to your dad now? What about the stepmom. Is she a stepmonster mom?

Sometimes Saintly Nick said...

You Nan sounds so neat. I am sorry that you lost her so early in you life. I am glad you have positive memories of her.

het said...

I am gutted for you, a similar thing happened to me....
but your memories.......nobody can take them away


Desirea Madison said...

I'm surprised your father didn't let you and your siblings go through the stuff first and take what you wanted.

Steven Novak said...

I lost my grandmother when I was a kid. She wa pretty much the only person in my family that I actually liked.


Josh said...

How very inconsiderate to throw out all those items. This woman seems to have been on a mission to erase as much of your father's old life as possible and, in so doing, erasing a big part of your own as well. It would be hard for me to forgive that.

Dan said...

What will lead others to scream "Arsehole" will simply garner a shrug from me.

You sound like a very sweet person and I'd give you a big, warm hug if I was there with you right now.

Grandmothers are wonderful. I lost both of mine years ago. Death has been in my family alot in recent months. I lost my dad the week before Christmas and then my Godmother (Aunt Kate) three weeks later.

And while we may lose track of "stuff" we'll always keep our loved ones alive in our memories.

Hugs and kisses.

Steph said...

Well that fucking sucks! I'd have some well chosen words to say to your wicked step mother if I were you, AND your dad. How could they throw those things away!!!

I guess you can take some solace in the fact that your Nan is always with you and no amount of material things can replace that.

phishez_rule said...

Cazzie - I hate people who don't appreciate the ones who love them. Your mum and bother are the ones who missed out. In this case, for them, ignorance is bliss. What they don't know will not hurt them, only the ones who do know.

Poody - It is just stuff, but I was just starting out on my own, so the little that I lost was alot. Plus it was stuff my nan treasured. I still speak to my dad, maybe once every two or three months. He divorced my first stepmum after about 18 months. i only met her twice.

Nick - thanks

Het - thanks for dropping by, and thanks for the support

Desi - We knew he was low, but even we were surprised.

Steve - Further proof that the malcontents had awesome grandmothers too

Josh - you might have hit on the reason why. I never considered that.

Dan - thankyou. All hugs always appreciated

Steph - Its easier to accept if I don't talk to him all that much. When we do talk its always happy families. I don't have much to say to either my brother or my father when we talk. At least my dad makes an effort.