MOST people want to know what’s next after they move on. But what do we leave behind?
Recently I visited my mum’s house between Skipton and Keighley for the first time since February — the longest time we had ever gone without seeing each other.
She only moved in nine months or so ago and 47 of my 52 years had involved either living in or visiting my parents in a house just a couple of minutes’ walk away.
Despite an inbuilt fear of change, humans adapt quickly to new situations and surroundings and my mum said she was happy in her new home and would have struggled during lockdown if she was still living in her previous house.
It made all the work that needed doing before she could move in worthwhile, but made me wonder what impact, if any, we have on where we live.
There’s the obvious of course — a lick of paint, some changes to the fabric of the building, maybe a garage or an extension, but what of ourselves?
For more than four decades I looked out on my old secondary school and onwards to the moors, bungalows were built across the road, the streets became busier with cars.
My father died and as mum prepared to move out she produced a bottle of wine he had brewed with the label revealing “Med White, April 27th 86”. We decided we would give it a go. Vintage in age it may have been, but taste-wise it was not. Still, he would have been pleased we had tried it.
When we cleared out the cupboard/wardrobe in my brother’s old room we discovered on the back an inscription of “D. Mosley waz ere 22.7...” Typically my picture cuts off the year, if he indeed even gave it. I would estimate it would be about 1979.
What else did we leave behind in the ensuing 40 years? Plenty of memories but any of our souls?
Many people no longer with us — two sets of grandparents, my father, aunties and uncles, two of my brother’s friends — stepped through and back out of the door, we argued, fell out and made up again. We brought girlfriends home — well, my brother did — rolled in drunk, had genuine fights, grew up (sort of!) and changed as people, sometimes for the better, other times not.
Sometimes one or another of us (mostly me) would lose hope — never my mum, at least she never showed it — and have to be given a talking-to, because that was what you did then.
Eventually, one way or another, we would all leave our house on Holm Royd Avenue though connections, for now, still remain.
Eventually these may disappear, though as long as the cupboard remains in that house my brother will have his name there — and behind the wallpaper in various rooms.
It would be nice to believe something of you stays behind, even if it was simply the love and care you showed as the custodian of the house.
The final picture I took at my mum’s house was of a wall hanging above a bed, which simply read “Dreams”.