Infinite space and time separates what I was then to what I have become now.
I don’t even know if I became what I was supposed to be,
Or if I was always supposed to be what I became.
It is as if the space I occupy is still connected to the child that I was but my awareness of who I am has given me a different form. A different format.
I am learning that the only thing that is truly certain is that nothing will remain the same, it never does.
Our time on earth is so short, and how strange it is that a life can come and go and there be so very little left to demonstrate it’s existence. A tombstone, a photograph, a name in a narrative. Most of which will be erased with time and have no connection to the real essence of the person that lived and breathed and walked the earth.
When mum died she lived on in our memories, and possibly in some of our actions. Part of her continues to stretch into the future in what can be remembered by those she left behind, but what about when we are gone, and our memories are extinguished, eventually even the photographs will become meaningless, they will gather dust in some box and occasionally see the light of day as someone struggles to identify who these people were and what their link to the present and the future is.
Earlier this month her eldest sister Rita passed away and it was like losing another part of her, almost like whilst Rita was alive there was still some small connection back to that house in Waddington Street, still someone alive who remembered mum coming into the world and shared childhood pleasures and treasures, someone who shared part of the same story.
They lived in post-war poverty in the back streets of Salford. The kind of poverty they endured would be difficult to comprehend in our modern world. Perhaps it was this poverty that gave them the drive and resolution to step out and walk tall and try to make their own way in the world. Which all three of the sisters did, Rita Shirley and Anne. (my mum).
It was the same urban landscape in which Greenwood was to depict the impact of the Great depression in Love on the Dole. The same urban landscape that was demolished and swept aside in the slum clearances of the early 1960’s to make way for high rise suburbia and what became the equally tarnished Salford Precinct.
Eventually these stories will be cast aside, abandoned, no longer memories but trash that is no longer connected and meaningful to anyone left alive.
How sad. Done. Gone. Cleared. Deleted.
It feels like I am the memory keeper and that I have to keep some of the stories alive.
© Alison Jean Hankinson