I had a bit of a meltdown last night whilst clearing out the boxes mentioned in yesterdays blog. I found a gold box tied up with blue ribbon and with airmail letters spilling out of the sides all fragile and yellowing. It was my Mum’s relationship box where she kept the letters that my Dad sent to her whilst she was in London and he was away at sea. I knew when I found it that to open the box would be opening a section of pain inside my heart but for some reason I felt compelled to dip into their lives before my brother and I were even thought of.
I took the top letter out, written just two months before their wedding and as I read the salutation ‘My Darling Peta’ snot was already dripping from the end of my nose as I sobbed like a baby. I sat cross legged on the floor thumbing gently through the letters, cinema ticket stubs, invitations to dinner dances at the golf club where my Granddad was President and even notes from my Grandma (who I never met) inviting my Dad to partake in some sea air down at their house for the weekend.
I sat there and just let myself sob, taking my glasses off and assuming the family stance for crying – forefinger and thumb pinching the bridge of the nose – just letting the sadness wash over me. I’d been crying for about ten minutes when I realised that my tears were about more than just missing Mum. I was astounded by how romantic my Dad was and it kicked off the fear in me that I’ll never experience that love, that I’ll remain ‘on the shelf’ like the lone tin with no label and a dent that looks worrying. It’s ridiculous because I’m only 28 which is young but at the same time I would like a man who will write me love letters or at least isn’t afraid of showing me how much I mean to him.
I also realised how sad I am about not living with PG after the end of June. We’re starting to drive each other mental and one or other of us would probably be guilty of ‘flatricide’ if we stayed together but having lived in the same house for five and a half years it is going to be a wrench to be anywhere else. Although we have never been a couple in my mind it feels a little bit like the breakdown of a relationship, a feeling that will only increase as we start to divide up our jointly owned possessions and look for individual places to live.