I was born in the modest bedroom of a small narrow terrace house in West Yorkshire, England. My parents were refugees. Their own stories were tales of bravery in the face of fear and relentless sorrow at the losses they faced. They escaped the terror of the second world war but they did not escape the mental anguish that it left upon them. I was part of a family of seven siblings, five older and one younger. My early years were spent in the tiny house that sat in a row of many made up of grey bricks, stained by the soot that wafted through the industrial towns of the north.
When we moved to a larger Victorian house that had been split into three homes we relished the extra space but not the damp cold rooms that were within its walls. We were now a family of eight, myself now the youngest. At the age of nine my eldest sibling left for Canada and by the time I reached twelve two more siblings had left home. The corridor echoed the emptiness and lack of bodies wandering through it. Two years later we were down to four and a short time after to three. I believe my parents felt the loss difficult. I know that now, as I am going through the same empty nest experience. I will get through it just as they did when I moved out a few years later but they had other issues to deal with, mine are small in comparison.
As an excited nineteen year old I was lucky to move into a lovely but tiny house. Its two bedrooms, three piece bathroom, quaint sitting/eating area and very narrow kitchen were my sanctuary. Living alone is expensive though, so I asked two girls to move in with me. I shared a room with one, the other taking the teeny bedroom beside us. Suddenly my haven became a scramble of voices and bodies squeezing to get by. Boyfriends lingered on the couch leisurely watching television. My home was not my own but to add to it my father was not coping well and my mother’s health remained poor.
I moved back. It was a decision I was unsure about, I had enjoyed my freedom, enjoyed my beautiful slice of domesticity within the renovated house. But it was right to be there for those that needed me and I was no longer comfortable in my place. The bleak Victorian building had been part of my life, pieces of my soul were left there. I found a third girl to replace me and remained with my parents. Life wandered on once more.
A few years later an opportunity to leave the dusty dowdy city I was raised in took me onto a seven hour flight landing my feet upon colonial soil. With swirls of snow blowing around me I stepped out of the airport, my immigration papers stamped and a new life ahead of me.
Only months later I met the love of my life. There are times that we believe we’re in love but when you truly meet the one, like Neo in the Matrix there are no doubts, he’s special and the world changes when you’re with him.
Years later Canada is my home. The place where my children were born, where they now look toward degrees and education and I look into empty rooms and wonder what to do with them. It hasn’t been an easy run but I have been lucky to have a loving husband and absolutely gorgeous children (okay so I may be exaggerating a little but only a little here).
My experiences? Well they are numerous, If Jack were here we’d be in competition for the amount of trades but I believe I have been a master of some of them. Learning and knowledge can never come to nothing even if they don’t pan out, the hard work transfers to other things. Mine have given me enough to twirl around in books, weave stories and personalities that are a mix of so many people out there. I write what I know, life. How it continues on and what our experiences do to us. Elanclose may be make believe but it’s characters are youths that are out there fighting to be heard. Corruption? It continues throughout the world and probably always will. The beauty of our planet? That, although I am sometimes blind to it, I have the joy to see and relish every day and be thankful to be so well blessed.