You know when you love someone for over 40 years, you tend to forgive all their little foibles. When you lose someone after that amount of time, you also realise just how much they’ve taken over your life, and your office, and your attic, your cupboards and your wardrobes and drawers. The lovely Mrs Atkins, pictured left, was an expert at covert occupation.
It’s been nearly six weeks since Julie moved on into the next life and her next adventure and things have become so much clearer both emotionally and space wise?.
Business has had to carry on more or less as usual, fortunately my two lovely daughters, Leah and Hannah along with Nathan my strong son have got to “de-cluttering” the family home. I’m glad they did because I cleared out the first set of drawers and produced enough underwear to fill a small department store, enough pyjamas and nightwear to kit out a Royal garden party and 50, yes 50 pairs of socks, I don’t think I’ve owned 50 pairs of socks my entire life??
I’ve a theory about all of this, I reckon you ladies get taught the art of slowly turning your homes into clothes shops and boutiques at school! I’m pretty sure, when you all got carted off for the “private lesson” without the boys (we boys thought it was about periods and sex) you were actually being shown the gentle art of “domestic occupation”. Otherwise known as how to fill up your home with clothes, handbags and shoes. As I’ve already laid out in a previous paragraph, my beloved Julie was an expert. Ha ha she could squeeze a hand bag inside a purse if it meant she could buy another. Laugh about it we did but that was her persona.?
I digress. After a day of attacking our (now my) wardrobe, I returned from work to find Leah and Hannah a little upset, now I assumed their mood was because they’d been turning out their mum’s clothes, but no. ” Daddy” they announced ( they still call me “Daddy” even though they are in their thirties) “Daddy, do you realise how many clothes Mum had?” Asked Leah ” Have you any idea how few clothes you have Daddy!?” Hannah said with a genuine sadness. “Come and have a look” they both were excited, then I spotted the sea of black sacks in the lounge. “Jesus! What’s this?” I ask with shock. “38 bags of clothes for the Charity shops!” I’m told “Mum had lovely clothes, sometimes the same top in 10 different colours!” One of the girls tells me.
I enter my bedroom and there it is….an eight foot long fitted wardrobe which the last time was that empty was when I built it!! Leah and Hannah were right, my sum total of clothing was contained in 2 drawers, and about 10% of the wardrobe, that shocked even me!!
A couple of days later, I went out shopping for clothes for myself, as I wandered around various shops with firstly Hannah then Leah, I wasn’t extravagant, I never have been but gradually I began to feel less guilty about spending money on myself. Julie never ever begrudged me anything and nor I her but I couldn’t see the point of buying for myself to put the clothes in a wardrobe where they would get swallowed up in an ocean of dresses, tops, blouses and trousers!
Nice to be able to see what I have to wear now and nice to have a choice but do you know what? I’d sacrifice the lot just to feel her hand in mine again or to smell her hair or to stroke her soft skin xx
????, to be continued.
Thanks for reading