Today had lots of moments. One moment I was crying and trying to hide it from my aunt. You see we were at Mom’s and Dad’s house packing up memories. It was the second time this week but today just got to me. I sucked it up and held on until I started the long drive home after dropping my aunt off.
Yes I have shed tears when I have been over there alone. Many, many times alone there over the last four years since Mom went in a nursing home and moved out. I still had to go and mow, make sure water was dripping if it was freezing and general cleaning. Mom died in Feburary and it has been harder to be there alone, but for some reason today was extra tough. Maybe it is because we have had two sales but there is still so much clutter and stuff left. Mom was a collector of stuff – perhaps a hoarder. I think because I know we are finally seeing some progress and there are some empty places in the house it just finally hit that it is almost over.
I know most people have to go through this sometime. It is hard. Every room is a memory. Everything you pick up is a memory. Overwhelming exhaustion, sweat, sore muscles and sad feelings, and I am home, showered and wonder if I can get up to go to bed.
I think about Mom staying up until we got home, bells on the door so she could hear us come in. I see Dad mowing the yard and tending to his beautiful flower beds. I sit down in Mom’s chairs and hold the tears but some still come. I did a good job hiding them today and got on the phone so they would stop. We packed up Christmas Santas and Christmas decorations – memory upon memory – shopping with Mom after Christmas to buy some of those Santas half price.
How much can a couple collect over 64 years? A lot.
Going through so many unfinished projects. Mom had a whole trunk of unfinished quilts – just pieces cut out in huge bags – lots and lots of quilts cut out, but she gave up when she lost Dad who was always there to help her when she would get out that quilting rack. In a closet we found so many quilt tops waiting to be quilted.
The big roasting pan where Mom cooked the most delicious turkeys, the best dressing. I took her dressing this last December to the nursing home and she told me it tasted like stove top. That is one of the last times she was able to communicate with us. That will be a Christmas I don’t forget and we did not stay a long time because it was snowing and our home was 35 minutes away.
Mom’s walkers, medical bed, wheel chair, lift chair. Sad memories of not so good times.
Dad’s hats still hanging there. We have been working in his three sheds but they are not empty yet. Watering the yard he took such good care of. He was mowing it that day he had his last heart attack.
Boxing up bears and rabbits and Santas and trinket boxes, and dolls and then all the little teapots and teacups and powder boxes filling the counter in one bathroom. Collection after collection.
I am dreading the final day, the day I drive off for the very last time. I am also looking forward to that day – not paying utility bills, taxes, and mowing and upkeep or that drive up there.
Precious memories! Yes it was one hard day today and there will be a few more before I am finished!