Monday, April 19, 2010

A lament

The house is flooded with early morning sunshine, and as the kitchen french windows are open, I can hear the usual birdsong and the sheep murmuring for their breakfast.

I am exhausted. Last week I finally had to make the decision to put my beloved home in the hands of the estate agents. Once the decision had been made, their well-oiled machine swung into action. I had to get the house cleaned from top to bottom by the agency I have used for years. Five people for ten hours - the house was turned out, upside down and round about, and by the end of a very long day looked absolutely marvellous. Everything sparkled, smelt wonderful, and my heart was breaking. The garden was weeded, the lawns mown, all the various repairs to the roof, the plumbing, the electrics, and so on, had to be done. Everyone involved went the extra mile for me, and I realised how kind people have been to me since I have been on my own. Nothing has ever been too much trouble for them.

The day before all this activity, the senior daughter returned to New York after nearly five months at home. What a performance to get her packed and ready - a very bittersweet experience for both of us, because she will never return to our beloved family home. When I left her at Heathrow, I had a huge lump in my throat. These last months have been heartbreaking. We have written already, the two of us, of all the clearing out we have done together, the piles of letters read, the books sorted, the wonderful vintage clothes belonging to various members of my family, sll the childhood toys and memories of her and L'l Sis. The end of a family. Just all memories now.

I am finding the destruction of everything that has meant so much to me, everything that has been pivotal to my life, almost unbearable.

Yesterday, in church, I really thought that my heart was going to break. This church, where I hsve worshipped for 24 years would soon be lost to me. The Easter lilies filled the space with a rich opulent scent, and the sunlight came through the windows in great shafts. The news was out that the house was on the market, and everyone gathered round, offering their condolences, saying how sad, that I was a much valued member of the community, and would be much missed. We sang hymns that I absolutely love, and the tears welled up and fell down my cheeks.

When I returned home, I walked round my garden with the dogs. All the memories - the potager, with its brick paths and box edged beds, this was created in memory of my mother, my little gothic greenhouse built in memory of my aunt and grandmother. The huge white wisteria on the back of the house, planted in memory of my father, and which stubbornly refused to flower for 16 years, and which, last year, was suddenly covered in huge sweet-scented creamy racemes of flowers. The Wedding Day rambling rose given by a friend on our 30th Wedding Anniversary, the Ruby Wedding roses, a present 5 days before I had to ask my philandering husband to leave. So many memories in this garden which I created from scratch, and now must leave behind.

I have to face the stark realisation that I am now too old to create another garden, and it is a bitter pill to swallow.

My final sorrow is that Maudie Littlehampton, my treasured loyal little Jack Russell, at 14 years old, is going blind. I fear for her when we move, because an unfamiliar house will be difficult for her to find her way around. Here, when she nips out under the gate and wanders off, and gets disorientated, kind friends return her to me.

I ask myself - what is the point of all this misery? My husband has turned into a spiteful, vengeful, deeply unpleasant man - bitter and twisted. He has destroyed his family, lied, cheated, been consistently unfaithful for years, spent all his money on himself, his myriad mistresses, and racing cars - and to what end? His girls will not have anything to do with him, and what has he achieved? He has ruined me, he has not given me a penny for months, I have spent all my private money trying to divorce him, but he just will not give proper financial disclosure, or me a fair settlement. It is now nearly two years since I chucked him out, and still no resolution God rot him.


Dash said...

Oh Aurora, keep being strong, I know it's a very difficult time, especially as you have now put the house on the market. You are in the eye of the storm at the moment, try to keep positive. Remember that there is a brand new life waiting for you at the end of all this. A new house a new garden, a fresh start and tosh! you are not too old to create a new garden.

Queen Vee said...

I send you a big hug and a cup of tea from Australia. It is so terribly sad to say goodbye to a home, and all my sympathies are with you.

Helena Halme said...

We're also selling our house of 15 years, so I know a little how you must feel, leaving fond memories behind. It's a cruel fact that you need to dress your own home up to look its most wonderful in order to sell it, even if you don't want to go. It just doesn't seem right somehow, does it?

Thinking of you, Helena xx

Kate said...

Oh, I am so, so sorry to hear this. I've followed your blog since you started it, and have always loved reading about your life in the country, your dogs, your home. You are going through a similar situation to the one my own mother went through 12 years ago, so I am not at all surprised to hear of the beastly behaviour of divorced men! My own father set the standard! Although our relationship is mended now, it took a decade, and I'll never love him the way I do my mother. I just wanted to let you know, as if you don't already, that there are many, many people, both in the 'real world' and online, who care about what happens to you and who can see that everything will work out for you in the end. The changes you are having to experience must be especially traumatic and unwelcome when they are the result of no fault of your own, but dealing with them will make you stronger and ultimately bring you happiness again, I know it. I hope that doesn't sound preachy, but hang in there, time will heal.

Titian red said...

So sad for you all, you must miss your girls and I hope eventually you can achieve some peace. The pain is so raw now, hold on there will be more Springs that you can enjoy. Thinking of you

Looking Fab in your forties said...

Is there any chance you could move nearby, so you can still worship at your Church and see your friends? It must be terrible having to uproot at this stage in your life, I hope all goes well for you.

K.Line said...

Aurora: I am so sorry about this. I've seen many photos of your stunning home and you have articulated your sadness beautifully. I can only say that - and this isn't a platitude - you will move on to a new and gorgeous place full of happiness. The home is about *you*, not it, and I believe, when you finally shed the shackles of sadness brought on by a place filled with hard (as well as lovely) memories, you will find your former spirit re-emerges and your new place will be as wonderful, in its own way, as the home you have now.

This is probably the hardest moment - the culmination of loss - but that means easier times are soon upon you. I'm sure of it.

Rose said...

I am truly very sorry that you are having to deal with such sorrow at what should be a happy time when you have raised your children well and should be able to rest and enjoy your house and garden.

I know it isn't a comfort but my parents left our family home when I was in my twenties and I was so upset and I thought everything would be different but actually for them and for me I think it's been a good change in some ways. I will always love that place but I have realised I can be happy in lots of homes.

still I know it must be heart breaking- good luck with everything

IsabelleAnne said...

Sending you thoughts of support, comfort, and strength from thousands of miles away in the US.

Chic Mama said...

I'm so sorry, I think about you a lot and I know our ages are different but we seem to be facing very similar battles. I am clinging on to my house at the moment because i'm not sure there will be enough equity to rehouse the five children and I but I know it will have to be sold very soon as I won't be able to pay the bills for much longer.
The British legal system is a joke! Don't give up but don't lose too much of yourself to the battle either.Take care. x

Charlotte said...

I only discovered your blog today and have just read from start to finish in one go (I read your daughter's too). I'm so sorry for all the things you have been though --I LOVE the times when your voice of steeliness comes through and I want to shout hurrah, you can do it! You sound so much like my darling mummy who died 18 months ago, my father is a bit of a rotter (not in ways like your husband, but I think has that extreme selfishness) and I wish so much she had booted him out and had time for herself - it would have been so hard I know, but I believe with such conviction that it is better to be alone perhaps than with the wrong person (especially if they are deeply unkind). I am so lucky to have found a lovely man who my mother adored, but I shall make sure I am never beholden to him (and will have a secret stash of savings if I possibly can!). Gosh this is a bit of a ramble, but I wanted to say thank you so much for being so honest and open and brave, you're a real inspiration.
Charlotte xxx
ps. we lost our family dog of 15 years in January, an English Bull Terrier called Blossom so I sympathised so much when you wrote of losing Violet.

Iheartfashion said...

This must be heartbreaking Aurora. But, speaking from recent experience, I can say that you may be amazed at what you can survive. I hope this new chapter in your life will be a pleasant surprise after all the horror is done.

itsmish said...

It must be so hard. So sorry to hear this. Wondering the same as others - can you stay in the area? I have met your LLG daughter so I know you did an amazing job as a mom - no one can ever take that away. :-)

Red Lipstick Style said...

What a beautiful tribute to your home, your life. Your precious pup will be ok. I moved while my little one (bunny) was blind, and he was able to find his way around the house, even to sit and wait for me (yes, he thought he was a dog!) Maybe a smaller garden In your new home? New memories, just you, your lovely daughters, your precious pets, and dear friends. Please don't give up, sweetie. You have so much to offer, to both others and to yourself.


Christina Lindsay said...

I got upset reading that. I too have followed your blog and I'm so sorry for you and that this is all totally unfair. You will find somewhere beautiful and you can start afresh knowing you've done nothing wrong. You are definitely not too old! Sending much love xx

allegra said...

Aurora-In different circumstances I too have been packing up a very similar family home in rural Worcestershire- going through the memories and lamenting that this major part of my life- living as a family is now over. Giving up and letting go of the house which you have created and transformed into a home for your 'babes' is simply painful. I do extend my sympathies to you and feel that you will get through this eventually and that life will come round again.