And so it draws to an end: the first Summer without my Mum. A fact not easily reconciled with the rise of emotion that swooshes up my body every time I acknowledge that she is gone and not just out there having her hair done. Or wandering around Southport. Or sitting on her own sofa doing a suduko. She isn’t. She isn’t. She isn’t.
I need this season to be over. I need the first of my Mum’s birthdays and wedding anniversaries to have passed, as they will have done by the end of next week. I need Finley to be back at school so that my own sense of order can be restored. So that I can work again. So that I can embrace all the new opportunities suddenly coming my way and really commit to building a life with Ste and our two boys.
I have you see been treading water, as together we lay foundations, and make plans for what that life will look like. There has been nothing new created or acquired. No new words written. No rooms decorated or progress made. No growth. Only the sudden realisation that life is different now. That my life no longer necessarily fits its new purpose. That room must be made for a man, and for his son who will visit and stay every other week. That space in my head must be made for all the changes happening within my family as we all adjust to life without my Mum and make our futures fit accordingly. That Brocantehome will not survive unless my focus changes substantially and that to keep doing the same thing in the hope of sudden success is in itself a form of madness.
This Summer then has been about transition in the midst of the deepest form of grief. It has been about spending every waking moment next to my child who is himself transitioning from primary to senior school: from boy to little man. It has been about picking up each and every one of my many, many belongings and asking whether they have any place in my life, and then as a result spending many an hour driving bin bags full of nonsense to the tip. It has been about emptying wardrobes and drawers, making space for the day that Ste moves in, in the near future. About listening to his hopes and dreams and reconciling them with mine to create a shared vision. And about understanding that he is human too, and brings to the table all his own tragedies and experiences.
It is so odd to discover that underneath all the junk I had recently draped my life in, this so very authentic me still exists. It is why when I really started to excavate Brocantehome I discover that The Vintage Housekeepers Circle was the best reflection of the values of my beloved site all along (and thus will burst back in to beautiful life, the minute Finley returns to school after September 9th). It is why I am suddenly able to sit in utter silence and lose myself in a book again, when for so many months reading has made me itchy; my head muddled and my eyes glazed. It is why I know, with absolute certainty, that everything will be OK.
Autumn is always welcome in both my home and heart, but this year its arrival will coincide with a new era in my life. I suddenly feel grown up. And I need the blanket of cold days and cosy firesides to help me build upon the foundations, we have worked so very hard this Summer to lay…