So today the I’s were dotted and the T’s crossed and my late mum and dads house in Clitheroe has finally been sold and the last links to my parents extinguished. Clitheroe will always have a special place in my heart. My parents moved their in 1992 and after my mum died my dad lived there after that until he died. Now was the time to sell as my job isn’t that safe and any monies received means we will clear some debts. Just the mortgage to pay off now ! I must make one last pilgrimage if only to load up on sausages from the famous Cowmans sausage shop, visit the cracking bric-a-braq shop for some vinyl and to have one last look at the last link to my parents and remember all the good times such as the numerous times we fell into the house after one of Clitheroe’s legendary stay behinds or remember the times me and my dad sat up demolishing his rather splendid selection of whisky and brandy. Good times indeed and there was nothing better than being spoiled by your mum and dad and slipping me a few quid to have a pint when I was back in Liverpool when I didn’t have that much spare money after it was all blown on night a weekend at Cream and Garlands. I used to go to quite a few footy matches when I visited Clitheroe and took in Clitheroe’s own team and frequent visits to Burnley and Blackburn and I even managed a visit to the old Wembley to watch Burnley in one of the most eventful matches I had witnessed (Well until I went to Istanbul)
So many nice memories but also Clitheroe is tainted with some bad memories as well. Just 4 years after my mum & dad moved there my mum was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 1996 with a very bad outlook. Indeed my then girlfriend and now wife never really knew my mum without illness and therefore only got to see a bit of the true Lil Fay. With such bravery she battled the disease and had that many treatments that she lost count. She eventually could take no more and died in 2006. In 2001 I was summoned to a visit from my mum and dad to Liverpool for some important news. I had braced myself for some final news RE my mum and I was then dealt with the crushing blow that mum was ok (For now) and it was my dad who had lung cancer. He died in 2012 from complications from that after battling and defeating a brain tumour. I will never forget the time I went to visit and my mum was upstairs unable to come down and writhing in agony with audible groans of pain. Something I will never forget. I shit myself and said goodbye to dad and drove home contemplating what had just gone on !! My parents were great at hiding what they were going through to protect me as they had the chance as they were in Clitheroe and I was in Liverpool. That added to me being in my late 20’s trying to be as ignorant as possible to their problems something that most probably made things worse when the shit finally hit the fan.
So whilst clearing the last of my dads stuff to finalise the sale of the house I came across all kinds of shite he had kept. Strangely I was transported back to the house in Clitheroe just by the fact that all his stuff stunk of smoke (Both him and my mum smoked) funny how things get you and I admit my lip had a wobble as I was hit from the sides by a random memory triggered by cigarette smoke. Then whilst checking his wallet (No random cash found) in the briefcase he had left with all his “affairs” in I stumbled across this letter (Click for larger image) and hit by a thunderbolt of emotion.
Dated 23.12.96 which would have been during my mums first or second treatments.
I have not written to you for a long time (That doesn’t mean my feelings have changed) rather the opposite.
I love you if at all possible more than ever. I know the effort you have put in getting and organising Christmas presents but the best ever Christmas present from you is the one you have given me this year – just being here.
I will never forget what you have been through this year, and still must be experiencing. Nobody else would have shown the guts and spirit you have.
In your own special ways you have tried to make light of the situation and shield our family from as much worry as possible.
Once again thank you for being you.
Fuck me what a find. It had me in tears when I found it and the same again as I type it here. My dad wasn’t perfect but when you find shit like this it just shows that underneath that father figure he portrayed to me deep down he was a deep and caring man. If I can show half the caring that he had hidden I will be a good man.
I miss you both mum and dad x x x
Well a second serious blog on the run after the Manchester bombing one “Oh Manchester is full of sh……………” which ended up being my most popular blog yet. But don’t fear folks sausage roll gags and bollocks will be back ASAP.
Fay x x x x x x x x