Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Tears before Bedtime


The other morning I got a letter from the secretary of my old training school; The Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital with the minutes of the last meeting which I had not attended. Reading aloud to MTL I suddenly became choked and couldn’t continue with tears streaming down my face. MTL couldn’t understand why on earth I should get emotional about minutes of a meeting I had only once attended since I left in 1951.

The hospital was founded in 1829 and in the next year it will be closed and a new building is to be built in the city which will amalgamate the two children’s hospital in the area. This I knew about and had accepted and was sad that dear old ‘Pen’ (the hospital is in Pendlebury) would be no. more. The sentence which caused my tears was ‘today she was pleased to announce that the new children’s hospital is to be called ’The Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital.’

Why should the continuation of the name mean so much? For one thing many of us spent our most formative years there and experienced the joys and sadness one gets from nursing very sick children. And we took great pride in its reputation built up over the years. When I spoke to the secretary later she told me that most of the room had dissolved in tears.

Have you ever got emotional about an inanimate object?


Eryl Shields said...

I have been known to get emotional about all number of inanimate objects, or, rather, the stories that go with them. I still harbour fantasies about burning down my old school, for example, and can cry with rage at all the young lives it ruined over the years.

kenju said...

Quite often. Some of the buildings in my home town can do that to me.

PI said...

Eryl: ooh I hadn't thought about rage. Something you should write about?

Judy: it's the history isn't it? Good or bad.

Sim said...

Oh my word - it took a while for me to put 2 and 2 togther. My MIL attends the Pen reunions each year and made a point in the last 12 months to goto each reunion including her class cohort before Pen is no more. Something she too is very saddened by.

Meanwhile, I cried when I saw my garden hacked back by builders. I was saddened when we've left old homes for new ones. I guess it why we hoard thigns that hold memories - even the bad ones. Oohhh - the stories I can relive just picking up letters from the first boyfriend. The question is, when do we let go?

PI said...

Sim; that's amazing. Do give my best wishes to your MIL. I expect she's younger than I am - everybody is. I was there from 1947 - 1951 and was at Lytham St Annes 1946 -47.
'When so we let go?' When we have written it out of our system.

OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

Oh yes...Many times! Standing in front of certain paintings has brought me to tears....! I can understand perfectly Pat why you would burst into tears....!
Lovely and meaningful memories of a place you spent a lot of time at plus a rather emotional place I would guess....
Many things can bring me to tears, I must say...It's like The Waterworks around here sometimes, (lol)

PI said...

Naomi: ah I'd forgotten about paintings. There was one of Renoir's that I always felt was a bit 'chocolate box' - until I saw it in Paris and sar staring at it for hours.

there w

problemchildbride said...

Yes. Stupidly and thoroughly and very soggily upset. My grandpa's camel whip from the war in the desert. My granny's handwriting. Photographs, photographs, photographs.

PI said...

Sam: oh dear ! I feel I'm unleashing the floods. But a good soggy weep is good for us - now and then. We have a choir programme on at present and I'm gulping and sniffing in time to the music.

Eryl Shields said...

Pretty much all my poetry comes from rage at some perceived injustice or another, my school is a favourite topic. What's the difference, I'm wondering now, between anger and rage?

granny p said...

It's something to do with ageing, Pat - the wiping out of a bit of the past is something of yourself; not just a building.

Kim Ayres said...

I wasn't entirely sure about emotions and inanimate objects, until I read Eryl's comment. Oh, the fantasies I used to have about burning down the school!

We don't need no education
We don't need no thought control
No dark sarcasm in the classroom
Hey, teacher, leave them kids alone

Good old Pink Floyd

PI said...

ERYL; I left a long comment on what I perceived as the difference between anger and rage. With me its a question of control - some in anger - none in rage. However Blogger has seen fit to lose it so I shall quietly smoulder.

Kim: I'm sorry you and Eryl had bad memories of school. There are three anthems I love; 'The wall', 'I'm Free' and 'School's out for summer'- and I was well in my forties at the time.

Guyana-Gyal said...

A little purse my father gave me when I was 6.

Rage! My cousin's home which she lost through the wranglings of ex-hubby [a lawyer]. We all practically grew up in that house. Eryl's rage reminded me.

The 6 pages of hand-written letter from boyfriend.

The beautiful old homes from Brit. era. Many now falling apart through neglect, lack of $$.

[More rage]...too much concrete.

I should stop, this list is getting long.

PI said...

Granny p: you're right. That's what it is.

PI said...

GG: fatal to have wranglings with a lawyer.
I must learn more about the British era. I hope we didn't behave badly.

R. Sherman said...

Being one of the "old guard" around here and remembering your posts about your time as a nurse, I can understand the emotion which comes from realizing an important portion of your past is disappearing. It's similar perhaps to the navy officer who learns that a former command is being decommissioned to sell for scrap. One wonders whether the old girls prior glories will be remembered.