A grandmother is a mother who has a second chance

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Almost at the end

Yesterday the escrow closed on Ed's dad's house. He had put it on the market shortly after Clyde died mid-January and it took a few months to sell, so it was good that it was finally over. The past few weeks have been filled with been getting rid of his parent's possessions. We were able to find family or friends to take most of the furniture - and the buyers wanted some of it. There were many boxes of clothes and small items that went to charity. A lot of stuff went into the trash. It's so hard to go through the clothes, photos, kitchen things, jewelry boxes, dressers, etc. It feels so intrusive. And, yet, it must be done. We had cleared out Ed's mom's things just a year before. But this time we had to empty the whole house. A lifetime of possessions to dispose of. And now it's done. We brought several things back to our house - special photos, a few vases and things that held special memories, an old wooden shelf that Ed's mom used for knick knacks and which he remembers from when he was a little boy. Some of these items will find a place in our home, some will be kept in a special memory box. We have these boxes for all of our parents now. Bits and pieces of their lives that we're hanging on to.

By the time my father died, we had moved him from an apartment to the nursing home so most of his things were already gone. However, he did have quite a bit in his room at the nursing home. After he passed away, my brother, Tony, went there to pick the items up. The nurses had stripped the bed, thrown stuff in boxes and put it all on the bed. That was so hard for Tony. Like the home was trying to quickly remove all traces of our father.

With my mother, who passed away 14 years ago, we had put all her stuff in storage because her passing was such a shock and so unexpected that we didn't have time to do anything else. Then about 14 months later, Tony and his wife, my kids and I went back to Tucson to finally dispose of Mom's things. I can still remember opening the door to the storage room and immediately smelling her cologne. We all just sat down and sobbed.

It feels so wrong to just get rid of people's things after they die. So disrespectful. So final. But you get through it somehow. And now we're done. The only thing we have left to do is bury my father's ashes which we'll do in Chicago at the end of September. Then we will no longer have anything left to do for our parents.

Except remember them. And continue to love them. I'm going to buy four matching collage frames and assemble one for each parent with old and current photos. We already have a wall designated for them. It's important that our kids and grandkids know who they were and how much they meant to us.

We have some of their treasures around our house, and we will always have them in our hearts.

4 comments:

ira said...

I know it must be tough. Take care of yourself and Ed.
They must all be very proud to have children like you both who cared so much.. :)

namaste said...

oh that must have been so hard, sandi. this was a beautiful post and tribute to them.

~m

Nikki said...

Wow. How difficult. This is something I am not looking forward to. It seems like our parents have all of the sudden aged...over night. It makes me sad. Memories are so important especially to share...good for you for keeping the memories alive! You are teaching your children what to do for you...its the circle of life I guess, and its hard but beautiful at the same time. :)N

Desert Diva said...

It's unsettling to see one's "worldly treasures" disposed of in such a relentless fashion. I often wonder about people and their lives when I see items at thrift stores. Sometimes, there are little notes with the "treasures." I remember finding a note in a purse from a woman with the date it was purchased in Iceland. Those "revelations" are somehow sad, and I keep the "notes" so that in a way the memory of the person "lives on."