Goodbye, Farewell, Thanks For The Memories.


You might remember the photo I put up a couple of weeks ago contained the words in the title of this post (complete with the spelling errors!).

Since then a few of you have asked for an explanation, on that and a couple of other posts I’d put up recently… so here ’tis.

I scrawled those words on the wall of the shed at Mums place on February 21, 2017.

It was on that day a chapter of my life closed forever. It’s also the reason why in the months leading up to that date, some of my posts have been late, and somewhat cryptic.

On August 30, 2016 my Mum decided to sell her home.

This took me very much by surprise, because after dad passed away I’d suggested to Mum she should consider selling up and moving closer to us.

I could see that she would struggle and it would be more difficult for us to come down and help if the need arose. Not impossible but more difficult.

We discussed the idea at length, but in the end, Mum decided to stay put. She knew her surroundings, the people, the places and she wasn’t comfortable leaving Dads memory so soon.

I thought it better not to push the point any further. I didn’t want to upset her any more than she already was.

She and Dad had been in their home in western Sydney since January 1960. Their home was one of the first in the area and she knew the place like the back of her hand.

She had friends from the old country living near by. She was surrounded by neighbours who had lived in the area for years

Hec, I grew up with some of their kids and mowed their lawns when I was a young bloke!

There was a real sense of community there.

Sadly, much had changed in the neighbourhood since Dad’s passing.

Developers had moved in and bought up many of the 1000m² (1/4 acre) blocks, complete with the 2 and 3 bedroom cottages that had stood on them since the early 60’s.

As developers often do, they developed. Knocking down those cute but aging cottages and replaced them with “affordable housing”.

Did you know you can get four 3 bedroom townhouses on a 1/4 acre block?

With the new developments and resultant influx of new families, the neighbourhood where she had made her home for the best part of 57 years had changed.

It was more crowded now, there was more traffic, most of her friends from the old country had passed away since 2013 and an undesirable element had found its way into the neighbourhood.

The result being more hustle and bustle, an increase in crime, more thuggery and more drugs.

In fact a few days before I scrawled that note, the NSW police raided a meth lab about 100m (300 feet) from where my mum lives.

It was time to go.

Mum is a strong woman and has been through a lot in her life, but buying and selling a house scared the pants off her. Figuratively speaking of course.

She asked me if I would handle the logistics of selling and moving, as she hadn’t a clue what to do.

So since early September and with the help of a couple of good friends in the real-estate game in Sydney, the task fell to me.

It was my job to liaise with real-estate agents, solicitors, removalists, utility companies and government agencies in two cities on her behalf.

I also had to find her a new home here in Brisbane.

Mum knows little about Brisbane, other than it’s the capital of Queensland, that my family and I are here and that its somewhat more tropical than Sydney.

In the planning stage I thought it best for her to make two, one week-long visits to Brisbane prior to her move, which Mum agreed to.

The first visit was to choose an area to live in from a short list The Pillion and I had carefully put together. The second was so she could put a deposit on her new home in the area of her choosing.

Moving house is a big decision at any age, but to decide at the age of 82 to move 1000km (600 miles) north to Brisbane is a courageous thing to do.

But this is exactly what she did.

Once the wheels were set in motion, there was no stopping her, she even packed half of the 80(!) the boxes and filled a 4m² (45 sq ft) skip bin with rubbish before we arrived to help out!

On the day she closed the door on Gibson Avenue for the last time, I asked her if she had any regrets about the sale.

“About leaving here?” She asked. “None, I’m only sad that I can’t visit your Dad anymore.”

In the weeks since the move she has been unpacking the 80 boxes she brought with her. And before you ask, yes I did offered to help pack and unpack, but she quite firmly refused.

She reckons it will give her something to do.

So, I’ve been helping in other ways, most of which is paper work, registrations, licences (she still drives) and change of address type stuff.

She’s already met some of the neighbours and even explored the local area.

I bought her a GPS navigator last week and the first thing she wanted to know, apart from directions to my home, was where Spotlight* was and how to get to the local RSL Club* so she could play Bingo.

The up-shot of all of this is that after working hard all her life, caring for Dad in his final years and surviving three bouts of cancer surgery, she has finally, and deservedly, fulfilled her dream of living within walking distance to the ocean.

The best part for me is that the logistics of travelling to her when things go pear-shaped have been significantly improved. If she ever needs our help its an easy 30 minute drive to her place.

Oh, and I can drop in for pierogi* and a chat anytime I want 😉


I wrote about my home town last year, if you’re interested, this is the < link >

  • Spotlight: Austral-Asia’s largest supplier of Fabric, Craft, Party and Home Interior.
  • RSL Club: The Returned and Services League, Australia is a support organisation for men and women who have served or are serving in the Defence Force.
  • Pierogi: A filled dumpling of Eastern European origin

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18 thoughts on “Goodbye, Farewell, Thanks For The Memories.

  1. What a sweet explanation. I can’t imagine living any one place for that long, but I completely understand what happens when the developers move in as it is happening right behind our back fence.

    I am glad your mom seems to be settling in well.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you.

      Same here with our place. we have an 8 x 3 bedroom unit complex going in next door to our home. its a two story jobbie so that will be the end of our privacy… unless I can find some really tall and fast growing pants


  2. Aww, Bless your family! I know what you mean about about sentimental feelings toward your childhood home. When my dad sold the farm I grew up on, I went and picked a bunch of wildflowers. Took a picture of them, had a tattoo artist work up a design from it and put a ring of them around my ankle. It’s a nice tribute, and memories are wonderful, but home really is where your loved ones are and it’s nice your mom is closer.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Stevie. Yep lots of memories there and nothing can take that from us.

      I’m looking forward to helping her make new memories at her new place

      I’m probably too old for a tatt now but if I ever decide to get another I know exactly what it would be.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Hey, best wishes to you and yours—especially to your mum—Ghost! I hope that these changes bring great opportunities to ALL involved. Determined, independent, lively, your mom sounds like a heck of an admirable woman.

    Since you first alluded to changes in the offing, I’d been tempted a few times to guess—to ask if you were moving back to the town of your childhood… But it was your tale to tell in your own way and time.

    By the way, if you don’t mind my asking—“She had friends from the old country living near by.”—what is your mother’s old country? From the Pierogi reference (and your last name), I guess Poland?…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Ry.

      The topic of us going back did come up. To be honest I probably couldn’t afford to move back Sydney, it’s a very expensive city to live in, especially if you come from a place like Brisbane where it’s not as expensive to set up shop and raise a family

      And you are correct the old country is Poland 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Good for your Mom, She sounds like a real pistol! I’m always amazed how folks in their elder years go through a personal tragedy, then find the strength to pull up their pants and get on with it. Sounds like your Mom is doing just that!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I did wonder if Mother Ghost was moving closer based on the crumbs of info you’ve scattered. I also had the thought perhaps you were moving back to NSW. She sounds lovely. “Welcome to Queensland”.Ah, the “old country” had me wondering too. Were we talking about Coonabarabran or Birdsville perhaps? What’s old country I asked myself. LOL

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Proud of your mom for making the decision when she was ready, and not before then. In my opinion, that is why she is settling in, exploring the new place, and unpacking on her own. Congrats to your mom and for your sake, I’m glad she is closer

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Pingback: I’ve Been Lookin’ For You Everywhere | EXPERIMENTAL GHOST

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