I am writing this about 3,000 miles from home. I live now just outside Toronto, Canada but I was brought up in an area of North West England just north of Manchester. I went to school in Bury and for most of my life I have held an association with the Bury area. My parents have always lived in the area so I would visit them on a regular basis before moving to Canada in 2003. And in recent years, with their health failing, I would visit every year or so. So in some ways, I never left Bury at all.
In 2015 my mother died and this week my father passed away. Both events take their own toll but I’ll write another post about that when the time’s right. What hit me most immediately yesterday after meeting with Dad’s solicitor, was that although my sister and her family are still here, my association with the Bury area has really now come to an end. In a sense, though I emigrated nearly 16 years ago and had spent many years in the south of England before that, only now am I actually leaving. I drove back into the town and parked and then spent some time just wandering, taking photographs, reminiscing about school days, friends, first loves, all those things that come with the area where you grow up. They say that you only really grow up once your parents have both passed on; yesterday, approaching 60, I think I became an adult and although Bury will always be part of me, we finally have to say Goodbye.