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For the last five weeks I’ve inhabited my parents’ spare bedroom.

It’s not a very large room. It has two beds with floral bedspreads and Queen Anne bed heads. A large gold/gilt rectangular mirror looms above them. In between there’s just enough room for a bedside table with four drawers decorated with faux antique handles. All of this was purchased on eBay.

At the foot of the bed against the window is a medium sized bookshelf, wedged in against the double wardrobes.

This is my mother’s bookshelf, and not my father’s in any way.

It’s full of her recently acquired books and a handful of photo albums from the time when people still did that. There are plenty of new additions to the bookshelf because just over sixteen months ago my mother smashed her arm to smithereens. I mean it – she broke her arm in two jagged pieces just above the elbow in a freaky fall. Mum’s had three surgeries and two bone grafts in this time and now sports a hefty plate and a whole bunch of screws to keep her arm in one piece.

So, she’s been rather housebound, not able to drive or do very much for herself. It’s only in recent months that she’s started to see real healing occurring. There’s been little she could do except read and spend time surfing the interwebs. So eBay became her virtual shopping mall, and for a voracious reader such as she is, it was a blessing and a lifeline.

And once I’ve said good night I close the door and prowl the contents. I’m not sure when it started but this curiosity was born of the lack of things to do out here in Suburbia-urbia.

They’re not all to my taste, so it’s a hunt to find things I’m interested in. Not everything I read worked for me, but I’m kinda bored so I read them anyway.

The first book I picked up was Dave Pelzer’s “My Story” as discussed in a recent post. The next was called “Light in the Window” by June Goulding. The third was “Daughters of Nazareth” by Patricia Hughes. Next was “Angela’s Ashes” and “Tis” by Frank McCourt (no I hadn’t read them before). I’ve just picked up Lindy Chamberlain’s “Through My Eyes“.

You could say I started noticing a theme: children lost or stolen; bad mothers; bad parents; wronged women; anguish; grief.

The story of my mother’s life.

In the 1960’s and 70’s in Australia, New Zealand and UK, if you were unmarried and pregnant you were in huge trouble. Most young girls in this position were sent away so their families weren’t disgraced. Once the babies were born they were forcibly adopted out from the mothers, usually under duress. Or they were just plain stolen.

This is the story of my mother’s life. But more on this another time.

Finding so many books along this theme made me think about my own books, and how I’d sum up the overall contents of my skinny, tall, pale-wood bookshelf.

And it’s this: yoga; meditation; Tantra; philosophy; mythology; runes; biographies; taking care of your health.

What theme does yours hold?