I never knew Mum’s parents; they died before I was born but I wish I had known them.
I knew Dad’s parents because they lived with us for a short time when I was a child, but were both dead by the time I was 12. I still remember them though and hold on to those memories very tightly and selfishly because I never want to forget my tough hard-working ancestors from London’s east end.
Dad died when I was 22, and even at that age his death threw me right back into child mode and I felt like a kid that had lost their favourite toy. You know the one; it goes everywhere with you and you never want to be parted from it. It’s the one that causes you to panic if you lose sight of it for a second.
Well, I felt like that.
Compounded by the fact that I was in a shitty marriage to someone who gave me no support, who cared fuck all about me and only about himself. Why I married him is still a mystery to me, but that is another story for another day. I thank goodness that my best friend P also rented a room in the same house as us because without her life would have become to difficult.
So, I continued to be sad and I continued to cry.
I cried wherever and whenever the mood took me; on trains and buses even walking. I did not care about what anyone around me felt; it was something I had to do and luckily, no-one bothered me.
In those days, mum lived in Eastbourne and the train journey back to London took 1½ hours. I remember returning after a weekend with her and I was crying so much on the train (not noisy crying but where the tears just cannot be stemmed) that another woman who had been watching me started crying herself! The only place I did not cry was at work; I did not have the time as I was too busy.
Dad’s death was sudden, instant and with no warning. He had a massive heart attack, collapsed on a golf course and was dead before he hit the ground. He was winning the game however, so that was a plus, for him…
He had only had a medical for insurance purposes a short while before and passed that with flying colours, so his death came completely out of the blue. My personal opinion is that he was a ticking time bomb anyway, and when his only brother died six weeks before of the same thing, that was the catalyst that set in motion the events that would take him from us that Saturday afternoon in April.
Jump forward to after the funeral.
I wore mourning clothes for a month. I have no idea why, call it latent catholic angst I really don’t know, it just felt right that I did so. I can laugh looking back because I wore a white uniform in my job and black at all other times!
But what a shock to discover that my wearing black everyday would cause my neighbours so many problems! Some of them hurled abuse at me and took the piss out of me. One even set their dog on me and just stood there watching as the dog jumped up at me snarling and barking. I could not believe that he did that! My ex knew nothing of this as I never told him about it, and I doubt he would have confronted any of them if he had known.
The title of this post refers to the first outfit I bought after the month was up. I needed to buy some clothes to cheer myself up and as summer was approaching, I bought an outfit that must have had about 10 different colours in it; great big splodges of colour all over the outfit, but I chose it because it was the antithesis of my previous black garb and part of my healing process. I did look like an explosion in a paint factory though, but I did not care it was exactly what I needed to lift my mood.
Even after I stopped wearing it, I still kept that outfit for many years, and would smile when I saw it hanging in my wardrobe. It was a reminder of when I came out of a dark tunnel and into the light.