Number 15….. Number 15 Treweeke Street. When I think of my home when I was twelve I imagine what they say about drowning; that your life flashes before your eyes. Memories of Number 15 are just like this. So many things happened there that I am not sure whether I have an overall feeling of happiness or sadness. I guess it was both. It just was.
I cannot complain about my life. When you hear of childhood memories of other people that were traumatic, it doesn’t give you license to complain at all. I had a good life, wonderful parents and a comfortable home, warm bed.
When I was 12 we moved into Number 15. We moved from my grandmothers house a few blocks away. I still went to the same school and had the same friends but a different outlook. We were at the top of the hill and my walk to school was all downhill this time round. On the reverse though it was a trudge a block from home for the sharp upward gradient to my front door. Life was good. That changed after a few months at Number 15.
Then the worst moment of my life happened. My Dad, my first love, my everything…..died. One day there and the next gone. When I say he was my life I do not mean to dismiss my Mothers importance. Its just he was effectively my mother for an impressionable period of my life. In the 70s it wasn’t trendy then for both parents to work. If both parents worked it meant that you were not well off. My mum had to go to work when I was just rousing from my sleep. Dad would feed me, make sure I was dressed properly, check homework and get me off to school.
I remember it so well, the night before. When I cannot remember what I did last week, the clarity of the night before he died stays with me to this day. We were watching Titantic on TV. I think Mum had already gone to bed as she had to get up quite early for work. He had kissed me on the cheek, we said goodnight and then that was my last memory.
A few months later the next worst moment of my life happened when my Susie, my baby, my dog, that I raised from a pup was run over by a man from a few doors up the road! My life crashed. She was my lifeline after my father died, I think I transferred a lot my feeling over to her. She was funny, playful and made Mum and I laugh when laughing was a luxurious product that we didn’t afford at the time. It took a long time to get over her death. I struggled!
My teenage years were difficult transitioning from two parents to one, rebelling at my losses and the fact that my Mum could not be there at all times to watch me, I went off the rails – not to the extent of drugs, sex and alcohol but I used to wander the streets with my friends, dabbled in smoking and tried to be cool hanging out with the wrong crowd; not the sort of person a mother would be proud of.
Suffice it to say there were a lot of adjustments, not just emotional for Mum and myself during this period of our lives. She had to change jobs to look after me and try and work at the same time. We were not a rich family but Mum was a good budgeter and we made it through.
To think how my Mum had to struggle through this time of her life, which was monumental, and then to have a problem in me is almost too much now for me to dwell on. How selfish! But I try to be kind to myself; I was dealing with the same angst but being a teenager I didn’t know how to deal with it.
There were many, many good times in Number 15 as well but sadly the good times do not stick in my mind when I try to reflect on them. The bad memories scream through saying ‘look at me, look at me’ and the happy memories slink into the background.
I lived at Number 15 until I turned 27.
My last memory of Number 15 is when Mum decided it was time to go into care and have a room just down the hill in a retirement home. I went through each room saying goodbye. It was time for a different phase in each of our lives. Mine now as an adult. I was in my 30s or 40s at the time but when your childhood home is no more then I think that is when you truly become an adult and have to pack up your kid memories in a suitcase and take them to your adult home.
So Number 15 at Twelve……
Oh my goodness, Karen, that is so sad!!! I know it was a long time ago, but still, I am so sorry for your (and your mum’s) losses. I remember clearly the loss of a dear dog when I was a teen, and that was not even after having lost a loved person; how tragic to lose Susie especially at that time. And you are right to be kind to your younger self – losing a parent must be a massive blow. It sounds like you and your mum have done really well with what life threw at you.
Thanks for your kind words. It wasn’t meant to be a sad post but I guess it “just was”. Unfortunately they picked a time in my life when things happened. Hopefully they will ask for another piece when I was older and it will be happier and balance things out 🙂
What an amazing and well written post. I felt like I was there with you as you were struggling through your teens. You did an superb job capturing this painful time in your life. Wow, thanks for sharing all of this. I thought this was a very courageous post.
Thanks Adrienne I appreciate your kind feedback.
My goodness…I can relate to this post in so many ways. It has drudged up a deluge of painful memories – ones that I am able to look back on now and say, “Thank God I made it through!” Like you, my father passed away suddenly…with the primary difference being that it happened just a couple of months ago. My favorite dog of all time, ‘Lovey’, was killed in dramatic fashion when I was younger. My mother held down the home with expertise, but I insisted on being a problem child for far too long (no drugs, etc. either – just difficult and unappreciative of her efforts). So much…so many stories…but I am here today to say that I overcame becoming a statistic! I applaud you for being able to do the same. 😀
P.S. I didn’t find the post “sad”, just reflective – if that makes sense.
We really did have similar upheaval at that time. Thanks Angela, yes I like reflective. I did have tears in my eyes though this morning writing it but that was okay, a lot happened, like to yourself. Sometimes you feel like you were the only one going through all this but on reading your post it seems it happens all too often. Its life and its how we deal with it that makes us stronger. Appreciate your comments!
LikeLiked by 1 person
It is the hardest, facing loss when you are young. I am so sorry to hear that. I am looking forward to your next piece, being stronger and balanced. I have to learn that in life, even as an adult. I think we do not deal loss better than kids. We just hide well when it first happened.
Lovely writing Karen. i understand what you meant by “The bad memories scream through saying ‘look at me, look at me’ and the happy memories slink into the background.” I am glad that you can write this and appreciate it for what it is, a part of your life, I love your acceptance of that. I strive for the same and you are inspiring.
Thanks Claudette, I really appreciate your words said so eloquently as per usual. I’m not sure I am inspiring though. Wouldn’t it be nice to get a happy piece to write about to balance things out so it all doesn’t seem so forlorn and we can let the good times scream back! 🙂
Your photos are always happy, so off you go and write 🙂 I confess that I haven’t written for the last 3, it’s not enticing me at all.
🙂 TY. I have missed a few myself I have to admit that dont connect with me but thats tthe great thing about it, we can pick and choose.
Seems like I remember you saying at the beginning of the writing challenge that you were hoping to improve your writing or that you felt you weren’t much of a writer.
This was wonderful. Heartbreaking but really well written.
I think what I like about the writing challenge is that I’m learning so much about my new online blog friends. hugs from Texas.
p.s. I think you are a wonderful writer.
Thanx for the Texan hugs, They make me feel all warm and fuzzy 🙂 ! Your compliments about my writing – imagine a glass of chilled champagne with a freshly dropped strawberry sitting at the bottom creating thousands of happy bubbles exploding at the top with excitement. That’s a real compliment to me as I admire your writing and it has tickled my heart today as I go to work with a huge smile on my face 🙂
You’re writing is awesome. That is the best written compliment I think I’ve ever read! : )
Glad I could brighten your day a little.
Argh! That hits me hard, heart sinking and all, when I read about your dad. 😦 But then again, all I can think of is how strong you are after all these. 🙂
Oh I didn’t mean for it to be too much of a downer for everyone to read. It happened, it was hard, but time heals and it was quite a long time ago, . I appreciate your comments though. Hopefully next assignment will be a happy one! 🙂
Ow, I didn’t mean for my comment for it to be to mcu for you to read. 🙂 It’s a great read when you can feel the effect what you’re reading. 😉