I’ve written about my cleaning out my mom’s house. It has not been easy. Everything in the house is stuff I remember as a child…and I’m having to get rid of a lot of it. I’m glad this is not my childhood home.
My friends have been wonderful. They, and their adult children, have taken a lot of the stuff to blend into their own homes. Like us, they have gotten rid of a lot of really cheap stuff (pressed wood covered with wood grain paper) and replaced it with the oak, maple, cherry wood furniture from my parents’ house. I consider them family by choice, so this is a perfect way to take care of my “problem”.
Some things are so sentimental that I must get rid of them.
For instance. In an old military footlocker was a crocheted afghan. After I recovered from the shock of finding it, I showed it to my mother in law. She said it was obvious someone had put their very best effort into it as there was not a thread loose or out of place. The afghan was crocheted in 1983 by my elderly neighbor as a wedding present for my fiancee and I. Plans were changed and the afghan went from being a wedding present to being used during my fiancee’s “journey” through hospice care.
The other thing I found was a slide photograph taken in April, 1983. In the image, an old lady is standing and leaning against her walker. She has her hands outstretched and is putting something into the cupped hands of a young man that is standing in front of her. The young man has a surprised look on his face. Standing next to the young man is a young woman that looks like she’s about to cry.
The old woman is my then widowed 95 year old grandmother. I am the young man and the young woman is my brand new fiancee.
It was Easter Sunday, 1983 and the two of us had invited our parents to Easter dinner so we could tell them of our plans to get married. When things settled down after our announcement, my grandmother got my attention.
Grandmother. “She doesn’t have a ring. She needs a ring.”
Me. “I know. She was accepted to medical school and we decided to skip the ring and save the money to pay for tuition.”
Grandmother, removing her wedding and engagement rings from her finger and my grandfather’s wedding ring from her thumb. “She *NEEDS* a ring. Here. You need these more than I do. Please. Take them.”
I will keep the slide photograph. It doesn’t take up much room and can easily be stored in a shoe box with other photographs. My mother in law is going to take the afghan. As beautiful as it is, there is no way I could look at it every day….plus I don’t want to make my wife compete with a ghost.
Some people say that is a different chapter in my life. It is really more of a different book. Book 1 and Book 2. Book 1 has “The End” written in it and most of the time stays on the shelf. Book 2 is on the coffee table and is read/written in on a daily basis.