A New Start

Day four of middle-aged orphanhood following my mother’s passing on Sunday. The matriarch leaving this vale of tears to join my father, whose own death preceded his beloved wife of 57 years four winters previously.

Of course, becoming an orphan in your fifties is nowhere near as stark as in childhood. That being said, despite there being no requirement to ask Mrs Bumble for an extra ladle of gruel at this juncture of the ageing process, the grief imparted when both parents have shuffled off this mortal coil is still grim.

Sitting as I am now in the residence my mother and father purchased in 1989, I feel a trespasser. My official place of abode is really no such thing; after all I never paid a penny towards the mortgage and after probate is established the property will be sold on.

I’m unsure which avenue fate will take me when my parents home is sold, but if you my dear reader knows of anyone who wants to adopt a fifty-something man give me a shout. Tell my prospective new foster parents that I’m house-trained, can cook and don’t require bathing or having a bedtime story read, which’ll hopefully seal the deal.

All I seek is a friendly smile, a roof over my rapidly thinning bonce and three square meals per day…. Or even round meals; the shape of the food isn’t overly important to me. I’ve joked with my siblings that they’re actively consigning me to homelessness and a life living under a blanket in a Park Row (a Leeds City Centre street) doorway….. Kindly, to prove they do really care about their older sibling, they’ve offered to buy me a waterproof quilt.

Seriously, though, where I go from here is anyone’s guess but I’m positive whatever outcome manifests itself I’ll be fine…… Well, as long as its a mild winter I will!

To clarify, I’m by no means making light about the subject of homelessness, or the poor individuals who’re existing in such austere circumstances. The plight of those desperate souls is absolutely not a topic to take lightly. I’m writing about a fictional scenario which’ll not occur…… Well, hopefully not anyway!….. I’m not complacent enough to predict that with absolute certainty.

My agenda for writing levity during such a sad time may sit uneasily with my accusers. However, I make no apologies for dealing with my grief in this way. It’s nothing more than a coping mechanism. My mother was one of the funniest people I ever met; consequently, I’m sure she’d not disapprove of the fictional, tongue-in-cheek elements of this piece…… And if you do disapprove mum, take some solace from the fact that my punishment will soon be a life on the streets……. Once again, I’m only kidding.

Quite clearly, the parody prose revealing my siblings are going to make me homeless bears no basis in fact. I’m only raising this in the narrative as this topic’s been a jocular thread that’s fed through a number of my exchanges with my brother Ian during his stay earlier in the week. Our kid and my sister Helen (over the telephone) playing along with this ruse by offering to loan me a large cardboard box, along with an invite to watch them eat Christmas dinner.

Whatever path my life takes in a few months I’ll be fine; In fact, I’ve already received kind offers of accommodation if needs be. To re-iterate, this silliness as merely a personal vehicle to cope with the grief of losing mum. It’s not meant to disrespect Maggie’s memory or (as alluded to earlier) the plight of the homeless.

As with many monologues during mum’s final days and subsequent passing, I’m conflicted whether it’s appropriate to publish my prevailing observations; whether that be darkly emotive essays or ever so slightly brighter insights into the zeitgeist.

In fact, so unsure of whether this silliness is appropriate to post I ran the draft past our Ian for his thoughts. My sibling replying “Really good Bro. It is fine obviously tongue in cheek X.“….. Indeed it is, our kid! Indeed it is!

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