Forget me and I stop existing

It never ceases to amaze me the reactions we have to things from the past. Those who have been reading not just this blog, but also ‘Touching Space’ which is at the minute not is in hibernation, will have come across my childhood home ‘Friendville’ and also in this blog as well. Equally if you have visited my own Facebook page not my fan page, you will see a picture of ‘Friendville’ at the top of the page. It is a building that from as far back as I can remember my life was linked to and to this date I have this feeling that I have through my heart still some sort of ownership over. About a year ago I found that the house was up for sale again, the 3rd time since my father and mother divorced and the house was sold. I had no pictures of the house so as soon as I knew I went to Google and I searched, only one entry came up, which horrified me. ‘Friendville’ has a great history and is the oldest occupied building in Aberdeen, so to find it missing in every way, sort of shocked me. My goal though of finding the for sale site was successful and I manage to lift not just pictures of the outside but many of the inside too, which to my surprise had little change to it at all. Being a grade B listed building meant that clearly no major changes can be made to the house, but the curtains and carpets were still the ones that my parent added to the house when my Grandfather died in the early 70’s. I couldn’t believe that the asking price for the house was just £1,725,000, but that was what it said. I sort of forgot about it after it still hadn’t sold in by the end of that month, but something prompted me to check yesterday. This Google searhc was totally the opposite of the first, there was entry, after entry, after entry! The house was sold and apparently the sale hit the Scottish News something I don’t watch, but ‘Friendville’ isn’t now just the oldest occupied building in Aberdeen, she is now the most expensive, the final sale went through at just over 3 million, not too surprisingly it wasn’t an individual that made the purchase it now belongs to a company who own many houses of a similar age, look and appeal. They rent them out for weddings, corporate events and even those wanting to holiday there, if you had the money you could even live there, but at $5500 per week, I won’t be there anytime soon.

I found myself split in my feelings part of me was horrified and part of me delighted. To be honest I am still on the edge of emailing them to thank them for giving this wonderful building the profile she deserves, they have listed not just ads for what they do, but on Wikipedia the history a facts about the building, ‘Freindville’ now her space in history is renewed and the opportunity is now there for other to fall in love with what was once my home. None of this will be of any relevance to most of you, but I added it as my history is entangled with this house and always will be. To me it is also a great example of how our pasts can reach all the way to today and change your mood, your outlook and your feeling toward almost everything. I never thought any of the above was going to happen in my life time and I had always said that if I won the lottery, I would buy her, not to live in as I couldn’t, but just to undo the damage done to her by her recent owners, part of the joy of yesterday was this has now actually been done. I feel so much more content with the past, almost as thought it been righted and far more than in just a house, but my childhood as well, forget logic, it’s just the way it is. It has shown me just how much we invest into the place we live, even as children we are tying events to places and knowing those places are loved and looked after, somehow makes our lives safer and more complete, because those places are still there.

I have said for years that being happy is a major thing when it comes to dealing with illness, well my happiness over something so remote has lifted my mood right to this very minute. I don’t always agree that poking around in the past as being a good thing, but then again just sitting looking at pictures in an old family album, can be a wonderful therapy for many people. I have little left of any thing from my childhood so maybe that is why I shifted every part of those years into something less likely to vanish, what ever the reason, that’s where they are. The rest of my life, well that is right here with me in my memory trail, something I haven’t actually been round for a while, I suppose that might be a good idea as I have already noticed, if you don’t use memories they are in danger of vanishing or actually even worse, they muddle themselves into other memories were they never belonged.

Recently I have had a couple of people telling me that I shouldn’t worry about not being able to remember things, I can’t say that I really agree with that. Memory of your life and the things that happened in it are very important, to me saying that memory doesn’t matter is like saying my entire life doesn’t matter. Sorry but I am important and so are you and everyone else in this world. To me my memories are as vital to me as it is for my heart to beat, or my lungs to breath, with out them I am nothing and might as well stop existing right now. Some may think that a little extreme, but think about it carefully and I believe you will start to understand. Once someone dies the only thing there is to confirm they were ever their are the memories of others, so if I forget, if I can’t remember who it was who did something important in my life, who will? I have never been particularity big on the idea of making a memory box, but I am beginning to wonder if it might be a good idea to supplement what I have with one. In a memory box I could at least add notes, put names on to pictures and so on, I haven’t put one together before partly because I don’t have those things like photo’s, cards or small silly things that would normally be in such a box. I have bought pieces of crystal as they allowed me to have something beautiful on display for that reason but behind them often a memory other won’t understand and none now share.

I have often wondered what is the worst thing that MS could do for me, for years I went for the obvious things, like arms and legs being unusable. I shifted that to my eyesight as well if I am paralysed I at least could still take part in life as I have eyesight, my voice and so on. Now I think to be honest it is memory, the more I loose the more I see just how important it is to our existence, as no one exists if it weren’t for the memories of others.

An MS balance?

So let me think, not the lead to the most exciting blog you might think, well the only way to find out is to read on. I went on my memory trail earlier today, it’s something I do from time to time, it’s a great exercise for me and I expect for anyone else who has a slowly fading memory. I have a fear that the day will come when I won’t be able to find those memories, that they will be lost to me for ever. That is part of the reason I write so much and pour out details of my life that many would rather forget about.

There are loads of things in my home that to the casual observer would appear just to be a large collection of ornaments, the type of things you would find in any home. Many I know think my home is cluttered and if I am being fare it might be, but my clutter has a purpose. I know where everything is and yes I do mean everything, with my eyes shut I can find any single one of them. For a long time I didn’t even realise what I was doing, I told myself and anyone else that I bought so many things to display in my home because I liked them. Not totally a lie. I do love crystal, Thomas Webb, Georgian pattern if anyone is interested and yes I have getting close to a complete glass collection, for now it has stopped growing but I hope for not too long. I digress. The trail has two purposes one to check on locations the other is quite different, some things are here not to just look pretty but they have stories behind them and memories I have installed in them.

When I fist realised that I was going at some stage be housebound I started arranging things so that I will always hopefully be able to use to pull those memories back to the surface. I get extremely agitated when they are moved by cleaning but when I can’t remember all that goes with them I sit and looking at them or holding them until I do remember. I know that people with Parkinson’s are encouraged to put together a memory book or box, I have considered it but it doesn’t fit with the way I am. If I put something in a box, then that box has to be out of site and unfortunately ‘out of sight out of mind’ is becoming more than just a saying.

Multiple Sclerosis slowly causes what they call lesions on the brain, understandably as the brain is such a delicate thing, these lesions cause damage. That damage is clearly different for each person as there are no set areas where the lesions grow. For me clearly I have problems with memory, I know I have damaged to my left frontal lobe and part of this is an impairment to my emotions. This is to me one of the embarrassing things MS has done to me, I cry, I cry at all the wrong times. Anything that causes a sharp change in my mood or I find embarrassing or difficult to talk about I cry. Now dealing with a builder who has botched something is not the right time to cry but I would and did. I can’t imagine what will set me off in the future but I have visions of someone just saying hallo and I cry.

This morning when I was trailing round my living room I started to cry, I was simply holding a little silver cat and remembering my Siamese cat, who by the way died nearly 20 years ago, I cried. I now have a vision of me in the future sitting in permanent tear because everything I see causes some sort of emotion. They say god takes away with one hand and gives with the other, so have I found the reason why I am loosing my sight.