A grandmother is a mother who has a second chance

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Going Through Dad's Things

It's a very odd feeling to go through your parent's "things" and decide what to keep and what to get rid of. Although my dad is still alive, he's in a nursing home and will no longer need any of the stuff that has been in storage for the past two 20 months. So today Ed and I went through three pallets that contained almost all of my dad's possessions. Luckily, the storage company is very service oriented. They had the pallates emptied, all boxes and furniture on the floor in an orderly fashion so we didn't need to do any heavy lifting or moving, all boxes opened for us, and they were close by in case we needed anything. For such an emotional and stressful situation, we were very grateful for their help and caring.

Since my dad had moved from Tucson to Chicago only a few years ago, there wasn't a lot of junk. But the things we did go through all spoke of his personality and his history.

  • 20 or so CD's - half of them Frank Sinatra, and the rest such oldies as Mel Torme, Ella Firzgerald, Glenn Miller
  • DVD's - several with Kim Bassinger in them! And two Kill Bills! Plus several old VHS tapes - three seasons of Soprano's, the complete set of The Godfather movies, and, or course, Frank Sinatra movies
  • A wooden shoe shine box with a thing on top for a person to put his shoe to be shined. This from his youth in Chicago when he shined shoes for a side job
  • A Clavietta which is like a little piano that you blow into to make sound - my dad loved music and loved to "play" instruments
  • Pictures, cards, and books I sent to him over 30 years ago
  • A recipe card box with A-Z dividers and 3x5 cards - this was his homemade version of a Rolodex
  • A little orange painted pumpkin that my brother made for him over 30 years ago and which he always had hanging up in his house
  • Lapel pins, retirement plaques, etc,. from his years working for a Chevy dealership and working for the Red Cross.
  • Many coffee table books about Chicago, New York City, and, yes, Frank Sinatra
  • A bottle opener shaped like Italy (this will soon be hung up in my kitchen!)
  • Eight remotes - many for equipment that is long gone

We shipped a lot of the smaller things back home, and put together boxes for my aunt and my brother. Then we told the manager at the storage facility that the staff there could got through the stuff and take whatever they wanted - the rest would go to Salvation Army. Ed set everything up like a mini-garage sale in hopes that some of the items will find good homes.


Jenni said...

Tell me you kept the shoe-shine thing! That sounds like an excellent piece of Gramps' history.

Arlene said...

Awwww, so many great things, like the shoe shine thing!!
I couldn't help my aunt go through my uncle's work shop. The whole place was him, and it was too hard. Even she had a hard time, and my cousin (her daughter) had to do most of it...