But the second thing I have become very fond of in relation to these posts, are the memories that many others share. I find I am like a little child in a sweetshop when I see another new comment has come in. It sort of reminds me of the excitement I feel when I get my hands on a new book, and I'm not fully sure what adventure, story, emotion, I am about to experience. Like my own memories, some stories are funny, some sad, some a mix of both, but all of them have one essential ingredient in common, they are real. Over the last few weeks reading these memories from all parts of the world, from different age groups, backgrounds, male or female, I've discovered another interesting gem, which is, we are all more alike than at first glance you might think.
So, apologies for the long introduction, but I felt the above needed to be said. Today's question, is this one:-
When you were small, what was the best or the worst (or both), chore you were given to do. I knew mine straight up, and in a way it was, the best and the worst.
As some of you might have read before, I grew up in a flat, so we had no back garden or front garden, but we did manage to have a step! Okay, let me explain, outside each front door, there was a concrete step. I suppose the step was the first thing people saw when they came to visit. So having a clean step was a mighty important thing to have. With this in mind, my chore was to clean the step.
Out I'd go with my metal bucket filled with soapy water and a hard steel brush, and I would scrub. In the scrubbing came the joy, all those magical suds created patterns, patterns which I could change depending on the direction or the size of the swing. I made lines up and down, across and over. I made circles, and circles within circles. The more I brushed, the more suds I would create. Rivers of them would go streaming down to the doorways of other flats, my feet, my clothes, would get soaked, but it was such fun.
The bad bit, and it wasn't really all that bad, was when the water went completely cold, because I knew it was nearly over, and the time had come to wash away all the lovely circles, lines, suds, and the white wonder would disappear to concrete grey again.
At the end of it all, my Mother, who was the one designating the chores, had a clean step, and I had the wrinkled skin of an old women from hands being in the water too long!
When I think about the step, strangely enough, I think about my Mother. I think the step for her, was a small piece of something to be proud of in an otherwise very dismal place. Now I know you might think that strange, but that's the way I feel about it.
Seeing as how the step has brought back thoughts of my Mother, I have put at the end of this post, a very short poem called 'My Mothers Hands'. To explain a little, the opening is a memory of when she would hold my hand on the way home from school, her front door keys in them, hurt, because she held my hand so tight. The final part deals with her battle with diabetes and dementia near the end of her life, and the two angels, are the two children she lost as babies after I was born. I hope you enjoy it.
My Mothers Hands
Her hands held little fingers with cold front door keys,
Wrapped a red coat over,
Protecting me from more than rain.
Pushed prams, peeled spuds,
No lady hands, but lady owned.
Skin like alabaster, soft not weak,
Hands of pain, hands of an optimistic soul.
Sprouting blood bubbles in pin pricked old age,
Folded quietly in distant melancholy,
Stolen by her minds disease.
In death as in life,