Saying goodbye

It was good. To get to go into my moms kitchen cabinets, pull out every piece of history I found in every dish, wrap them up and place them in a box to bring home with me as my oldest daughter and I sat on her kitchen floor laughing, crying, and telling stories about my mom. It was just the two of us and the person who was there to supervise us. She was a compassionate, helpful older lady. She was given a copy of my list of items I was authorized to take and she went through the list and helped gather the items throughout the house for us. We only had 4 hours to basically disassemble nearly 80 years of memories. I called a good friend once I realized we had more work than time and he came to help with the larger jobs. He showed up quickly, and in a stretch limo with his dog. My mom lived in a mobile home park that was exclusively for mature adults and all throughout the time we were there, other residents would stop out front and comment about the “hearse” parked outside of the home. We realized that it made them uncomfortable because the park there is essentially an above-ground cemetery where each plot is only temporary housing for the bodies. The final step in these elderly peoples lives before they inevitably die. We made light of it & just worked as quickly as we could to get packed up so we could get the limousine out of there fast. Dishes and photos and televisions and radios and pillows, towels, make-up, slippers, puzzles, reading glasses, bird houses, trinkets my children had given her from the time they could create, even things I made her from years ago, all shoved here & there and loaded up for us to remember her by. We made good progress in 4 hours but realized we will have to go back for another trip on Monday. With my truck, my daughters truck and his “hearse” packed full & secured, we took off towards my home. I was in the lead. I felt all the eyes on us as we slowly rolled out of that park, with the big mattress crookedly bouncing in the bed of my truck as we drove away. Once the three of our vehicles were out on the main road, I drove slow, I didn’t want to lose anything. I looked back in my side view mirror just as I started up a steep part of the road and saw how somber our convoy looked, just like that feeling you get when you see a funeral procession creep by and I realized right then that that was all the closure I needed. I felt something leaving me. Like something was lighter in my life. And the people that were there with me were the ones coming with me to help me start a new chapter in some way. I didn’t cry but tears did fall from my eyes a little. It made me feel good to know I had these 2 people in my life this day. And his silly limo with his dog hanging out the passenger side made it even more dignified.2014-02-12 16.21.07

So Monday…will be my last load before the rest is taken by my brother. Then the place goes on the market for it’s next living corpse.

I got home with all the stuff and unloaded most of it before dark. Not sure where I am going to put all of it yet. I’m sure things will get stuffed into my cabinets for my children and grand-babies to find and treasure once I’m gone. I just hope I have at least as many years left to make new memories with them as my mom had. I really felt an urgency to get busy living yesterday. To get busy with what I am here for. Whatever that may be.

3 responses to “Saying goodbye”

  1. So many posts – i would love to make several observations. Perhaps an email would serve best. Check your email soon. In summary, your adventurous spirit drives who you are. Rather than wrestle it, embrace it with balance. You have an anchor; spend more time tethered. Watch the compass daily. Fly higher.


  2. I loved the way this went for you. That sense of relief that you explain is one of the most life changing things in life you can feel. Good on you.


  3. Can’t tell you how your post mimicks my own life. Just lost my step Dad but when I went to his house to collect some memories his “other” kids were there first and cleaned the place out. The only thing left was the child-growth-marks left on the closet door ( Ya know?….John at age 6…etc) so I went to my car found my tools and ripped the door off it’s hinges. They can take all the material things but they can’t take my memories.


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