For many years when my children were younger and demands on my time were greater, I didn’t write, other than when sending letters to friends or family, or writing out my Christmas cards.
There was, however, one day when I made an exception and wrote briefly, on Thursday, 28th January, 1999.
This was an exceptional day from beginning to end. It was a day that marked the end of an era which had its beginning in 1920, when my father was born.
The part I played in the events of this era began the day that I had been born. But for my three sisters and me, this day marked the end of the life we had always known, for it was the day we signed the final papers to wind up our parent’s estate.
All personal belongings, including furniture, had been distributed among family members. The house had been sold; the car was gone.
Our family home was no more.
It had been a surreal day from beginning to end. I remember having trouble writing, but write I knew I must, for this day was indeed a day to remember.
As “Memoirs of my Life” is where I record such memories, it is time for me to add my thoughts of this memorable day here. It was a once-in-a-lifetime day, the likes of which can never be repeated.
Thursday, 28th January, 1999.
“Today I have signed my name many times. At 9:30 am, I went to our solicitor’s office to sign the final papers for probate on Dad’s estate.
After collecting my seventeen month old baby from his father, we went to order my new car, one big enough to accommodate our family of six, a Toyota Land Cruiser, in “Scorched Earth Red”. Once again, many papers to sign.
My son and I had lunch together in a favourite cafe in town.
After we returned home, all of my four children and I went to the local shopping centre, where we found a large carpet for the family room. I bought the carpet with some of my Dad’s money. On Sunday I bought new pink light shades for all of the hall lights, also with Dad’s money.
These are some of my last gifts from my father. Thank you Daddy.
My three older children started the new school year today, with my eldest son starting year eight. He has been graded into all ‘A’ classes for this year. We also called in at ballet and enrolled the girls in their ballet classes again for the year.
Such an eventful day; a nice day with my children.”
Even now, as I type these words, written over thirteen years ago, I have the same hollow feelings as I felt on that day. I hadn’t wanted to sign those probate papers. I wanted my father back. I didn’t want to be an orphan. But that was what I was now.
My three sisters had all wanted to sell our parents home; I didn’t. They wanted to get it over with; I wasn’t ready, but being one out of four I had no other choice, or so I believed at the time. I was out-numbered and vulnerable.
What I should have done was buy out my three sister’s shares in the house. Why didn’t I think of that back then? Grief has a way of muddling your brain no end. I could have rented out the house. When the time came, one or more of my children could have lived there when they were ready to leave home.
The old ‘me’ allowed people to rail-road me into doing what they told me was the best thing to do. Foolishly I listened. I gave away my power to those whom I thought had more knowledge and I let them have more power over me than I had myself.
That isn’t happening any more. If only I had known back then that the only reason they had any power over me was because I allowed them to.