Saturday, 9 February 2019

Footprints


The heating engineer has not long left. He and Winnie have been tweaking the central heating system together. He installed the fire and the heating pipes originally so is comfortable having a his old apprentice back.
She sat with him for almost an hour, her head resting, wherever possible on his discarded work jacket.
As they finally came down the stairs he remarked on a mark on the corner of the landing
"I thought at first I had caught the paintwork with my toolbox"
"No" I reassured him "the mark's been there for a while"

Like most things that you have lived with for a long time, that mark, to me had become invisible.
It's like the plaster indentation I left after I repaired  the water damaged hole in the ceiling caused by The Prof overfilling the bath before getting into it.
It's like the painting hung in the corner under the stairs no longer in the normal line of sight.
and it's like the old stove too heavy to move which has sat outside the kitchen door for the past two years.
Things there, but things no longer seen to be there.

The mark on the wall was William's,
it was his footprint on my life.
A corner where he itched his bottom...... a pleasurable pain for him and a minor irritation for me.
The stain left by a thousand bum rubs.
An I woz ere grease DNA signature 

After the engineer had gone I gathered up some cleaning spray and a cloth and marched up the stairs with good intentions.
But the mark is still William.
his signiture on a small life, lived quietly
and so, for the time being, 
I've left the mark well alone,






65 comments:

  1. You have to leave the mark!

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  2. When I returned to live in the house I grew up in I had it repainted. My painter asked about the deep scratch marks on the front door, did I want them filled in before painting. They were made by our old dog Roddy asking to be let in. Needless to say they are still there.
    Cheers

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  3. Shedding a few tears with you as I look around my own hovel and see Patsy everywhere in the hairs on skirtings that I can't bear to vacuum.

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  4. Aaaw.....let the marks stay! X

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  5. For the time being the mark is best left there until you are ready for it not to be there.

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  6. The marks contain memories its your home so leave them be. Heather

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  7. leave william's mark alone. some of my furniture has scratches from my 4 deceased kitties; I have not touched a thing.

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  8. You need to get rid of that blinking old stove. Can't you phone a scrap merchant to take it away? Or maybe the council will collect it for a fee.

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  9. I inherited my father's last car - a Rover 2000, a classic. The passenger headrest had a slightly greasy mark of my mother's head. I left that too.

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  10. The little faults and wear and tear in our homes is what makes them homes ..... I really don't like clinical, perfect rooms that don't feel a bit lived in..... a memory of your dear William cannot be washed away but, when you are ready to then that will be the time and his memory will be forever in your heart. XXXX

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    1. After a while the dogs tend to morph into one....meg into Mary
      Finlay into William ...

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  11. I really like the poignancy of this post John. 'Things there but no longer seen to be there.' x

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  12. For the moment, yes, you should leave William's mark as it is. Nice to hear Winnie is still predictably Winnie. -Jenn

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  13. I'd leave it alone. Hugs to you dear John.

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  14. You will never forget William. Changing the subject, I saw advertised that "The Walking Dead" returns tomorrow (Sunday) but I can't find what channel it is on. Do you know where it will be shown?

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    1. In the uk its on Fox

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    2. Thank you John. I have found it now. I was looking for it on Sunday and on Fox it is on Monday. I wouldn't want to miss the final part after following from the beginning.

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  15. Everyone who has meaning to us, leaves marks behind in some way.

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  16. That mark is a memento mori for a much loved one, JayGee, and can well understand why you might prefer to honour it as such.

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  17. We have a similar mark on the base of a wall, where our Lab' Monty used to lie down. I shall never paint over it.

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  18. Later this month is one year since my sweet dog died. I have chewed toys of his sitting on my dresser top. I've been trying to build myself up this week to toss them, and I'm having a heck of a time. I'm not going to pressure myself either way. Part of me does want to just toss them so they don't remind my heart to ache when I see them.

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  19. The mark is a part of the cottage, as much your little finger is a part of your hand. They both stay, they should stay.

    I hate hoovering the first time after I have lost a pet, I feel I am sucking up the last of them, removing their very last trace from the house. The little trails of fluff and fur that they leave in their wake whether visible to me on a day to day basis or not.

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  20. It's like the growth chart of the kids. We had one in our home, 9 kids, the last two were twins. It was hidden inside a closet along the door frame. The new owner of the house knew us and that my youngest sister (a twin) had died, they left the scratchings where they were.

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  21. I wouldn't be able to remove that mark either, and I'd pot up a nice geranium in an old teakettle and set it on the stove!

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  22. Awwwwww.....hugs to you John Gray.

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  23. i get it. We have a scratched up door frame that we can't part with.

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  24. The past leaves marks on our walls and in our souls.

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  25. i have the same kind of mark on my back door from teddy. she refused to get groomed in the last years of her life and though she never looked dirty, she wasn't exactly clean either. every time she come in and out of that door, she rubbed a little of herself on it. i just can't wash her away yet.

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  26. Barbara Anne4:15 pm

    Sweet. I was just thinking of tattered porch chair cushions that I left in place as the cats (only 2!) loved them. The cats are gone and I suppose I should recover the cushions, but not quite yet.

    Hugs!

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  27. All houses have such marks, I suppose. I clean this place top to bottom and then we have company and I see stuff like that everywhere -- stuff that otherwise I wouldn't notice at all. It's good you left the mark, at least for now!

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  28. So very sweet.
    I have a chew mark where puppy Hamish nawed it when he was teething. It stays there never filled or painted

    cheers, parsnip

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  29. You make my heart skip a beat with these poignant stories John.

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  30. Leave Williams mark just as long as needs be . The stove I think would look lovely planted up with a riot of cascading plants, make it a feature.

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  31. Leaky eyes here too. We have little marks and scratches left by our past dogs, which we can't remove or hide, as they are little reminders of what was. Glad you're leaving William's bum mark in situ.

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  32. Memories are bitter sweet.But they are memories and they comfort us. So keep all those marks John and don't wipe them away x Lots of hugs x

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  33. For many years I kept a table that my dog had scratched up...it was a loving reminder of him after he died.

    Irene

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  34. Lovely poetic writing John like a page in a book, you can erase some things but memories will stay in your heart.

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  35. I could look at all the marks in all my houses and know who made them. Which pet, which child. And then look out the kitchen window and look at the trail diagonally from the gap in the fence to the cottonwood tree, then straight into the garage door. And so forth and so on...

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    1. I shall miss them all if I have to leave

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  36. Oh dang. I'm crying. I didn't know William, but I know he was a good boy.

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    1. He was a delightfully gentle boy...with manners to die for

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  37. Aww..darling old William..glad the mark is staying.

    Jo in Auckland.

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  38. Those little reminders both break and comfort our hearts, don't they? Been there myself.

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  39. "Scars" and imperfections always have a story

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  40. I left a mark made by one of my old cats on our garden fence. When it came time to replace the fence, that particular board was carefully saved so that there was a mark to show that this beloved feline had once existed.

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  41. I was telling friends last night about Winnie and the workmen. I don't think I'll tell them about the mark on the wall... although I can understand your resistance in removing it.

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  42. Another wonderful blog post. I know you must miss him a lot. I am writing this with Murphy at my feet. Your words helped to make me appreciate him even more.

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  43. Our dog used to scratch a section of wainscoting in the kitchen as he snoozed. Scratches still there, many, many years later. He raised our boys with us.

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