Jan 13, 2011

Packing up our memories, and watching the waters rise

The waters were rising fast and Patty Beecham's mother-in-law had to leave behind her house of 44 years. Beecham documents the painful process of packing up memories and leaving it all behind.

Swimming pool area - before and after #qldfloods

The white sycamore bed was made for her wedding day; in fact, the whole suite of bedroom furniture was handmade by her father, who owned a joinery shop in Ipswich. Her five children were conceived there, and it is where her husband passed away, sleeping peacefully on the left-hand side. For more than 44 years it has overlooked the Brisbane River, and now I watch with sadness as the muddy waters lap relentlessly at the bedroom door.

We can’t move it.  There’s not enough of us, and nowhere to store it. We have no tools. We have to make executive decisions on what to take, what to leave. I spent an entire day packing up my mother-in-law’s life.  I drove through pouring rain to begin the melancholy chore of packing, wrapping, sorting, rescuing. It has endured the 1974 floods and already I can see the waterline has crept up past the eaves of the garage shed. Two tyres swirl in a backwash eddy, spinning lazy circles. A bush turkey lookes confused, standing on the water’s edge, peering in.

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3 thoughts on “Packing up our memories, and watching the waters rise

  1. janezworld

    What a great thing social newtworking is, when used this way it is a force for good. Sharing brings caring. Patty, this is a Deeply moving, evocative and insightful piece. Something to be added to the memories you are keeping, in your family.

  2. janezworld

    Patty I was Janezworld and still am Janezworld.com You know me as JaneofAustralia.

  3. Patty Beecham

    Aha! Of course, thanks Jane, much appreciated.

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