I have just spent a few days back in the home that I lived in when I was an adolescent after moving in with my maternal Aunt and Uncle, this is probably the first of many visits which I will undertake due to the recent parting of my uncle in April of this year.
I was visiting because of the love that I have for my Aunt, the fear of her being alone, she was married to my uncle for 58 years and they have gone through a great deal together, the difficulties of looking after me throughout both my childhood and even adulthood, my aunt having a nervous breakdown, and being hospitalised twice, my uncle and his health problems and my mental health, dealing with a dysfunctional family and my journey into alcoholism.
I have to admit though that it bought up the question of whether I should move to be nearer to her, I live a 7 hour train journey away and the cost of travelling frequently would be quite prohibitive, the difficulty is that I moved away many years ago, selfishly or not, my career, my wives and partners came first, I don’t remember a time when I felt that my Aunt’s home was home.
I chose this picture because during the most difficult times in our lives we often look for our purpose in life, our ancestry, our place of belonging, the place that we call home, my life however has been one where I don’t really identify with anywhere, my life has been so transient that I call home the place that I have lived in for the last couple of years.
What do I believe that I would achieve by returning back to Manchester and what has driven these thoughts??
I have a tendency to back myself into corners, my stubbornness doesn’t allow me to back down and whether I am right or wrong I own the outcome, people may laugh but I cannot say my life has been boring.
I have a tendency in my life to make the mistake and then try to rectify it, apologising, turning on the charm, almost beating people into submission, not literally of course, and I always believe that the outcome will be different the next time, a few months down the line I reverted back to my old ways.
Having been married 4 times and divorced 4 times during each of my marriages I have gone back and on each occasion left once more, often leaving the second time causes even more anguish and upset, a few drinks and a few nights out with someone new always seemed to do the trick, however if I went back home now to live permanently what would my life look like and what would my aunties life look like???
I have to say that in my eyes at 56 years of age my life as I know it with all the freedoms that I have, a supportive girlfriend, a few close and loyal friends, I believe that my life would be almost over before it had begun.
I also feel that it would not be good either for my aunt, there is a big difference between staying with someone for a few days and actually living with them, I think that ultimately her health would deteriorate because after all because of my love for her, I would do lots both in and out of the house to keep her comfortable.
My being with her may allow or slow down the grieving process, she may feel unable to show her feelings in front of me and this may cause more distress.
My childhood was different from a lot of people’s and very different from my sister’s and brother, I was the eldest of 5 on my mums side and the eldest of 6 on my dad’s side, circumstances dictate that we do not see each other and many of my siblings I haven’t seen in over 30 years but life has its twists and turns.
One thing that I am certain of is that the people in my life are the people that I want in it, whatever choices that I make in life I intend to be happy and that you can be anywhere in the world today and yet you can still be close to someone, yes I accept that it takes effort, willingness on all parts and a mutual understanding.
The one thing that I know about my aunt is that she has always been very supportive and forgiving of me and only ever wants the best for me, she has only ever wanted and seen the best in me, something that at times even I have struggled with.