As the clock ticks down to some yet unknown date, this date being the date when I can list and sell this house I'm living in.
Yea, that date...
And yes, there is sufficient work to be done prior.
Sorting, organizing, liquidating...
Windows washed, several rooms painted, carpet shampooed...
I decided my action plan would be to attack one room at a time. Some rooms will be easy, while others will be hard for various reasons. My mom's bedroom would be the hardest, but this is where I choose to begin.
Prior to her services, I had gone through her photos and mementos in search for those precious pictures I could use to show her life to others, it was grueling; painful and heart wrenching. So much so that when I was done I promptly returned the boxes and picture albums to her bedroom and closet, closed the door, and could hardly bring myself to go in without feeling like the walls were closing in on me.
Initially I thought I needed to box her clothes up to sell or donate. This thought panicked me. I'd walk into her closet and touch her clothes, pet them really. Whimpering, I'd leave before I broke down.
Then a revelation! I don't have to sell or get rid of her things, I can box them up, keep them, and deal with them when I'm ready. This realization gave me the courage to go into her bedroom today and organize, sort and clean. I wanted to do her room first, to make it clean and attractive. Bed made, dresser dusted, clothes all washed, folded or hung up.
The dresser was covered with items of her's. Jewelery, figurines, other grandmotherly items. Her vanity with hair brushes, a few cosmetics, perfumes, cleansers and lotions, etc.
Much of her bathroom items, lotions, soaps, blow dryer, hair care items, items I can use, are now in my bathroom.
I stripped the sheets and mattress pad off her bed and washed everything. Rolled up the memory foam and put the wheels back on the frame. I had removed the wheels awhile back when she complained that the bed was too high. As I remade her bed, mindful that she would never again sleep in it, I was struck by the thought that this mundane act of making a bed was one filled with much love and caring. I'd been doing this for her for most of the last year as it was a difficult task for her but so easy for me. And this last time, it will remain made up, as her soul requires no bed and no rest.
I did really well, breaking down only once when I ran across a letter she had saved in her bible. A letter written a decade ago by my neighbor lady in Michigan. A sweet older woman who passed some on some time ago.
The letter goes like this:
So often I think I should drop you a note. So often I say a little prayer for you as I see you go by. I guess there are no little prayers, they are all big prayers to a giant God. We are often sitting at the dining room table around 8:00 am waiting and watching pheasants fly across from the neighbor's field to the corn in the corner of our field.
We see you go home after the bus has gone and I just have a thankful feeling for you as a grandmother and mother for what you are doing for Jenny and her children. I know it is not easy for you to get up so early and travel even the short distance down Sword Hwy. I know you have heavy concerns for them and with Rich not well also.
I just want you to know I feel for you and admire you very much for what you are trying hard to do.
My writing is not too clear today, but do hope you know what I'm trying to say. 1 Thessalonians 2:7 But we are gentle among you, like a mother caring for her children.
In Christian Love, Luellen V."
At the time, I was working long hours, 60 hour weeks average with a start time of 4:am. I'd get up at 2:45 in the morning, be at work by 3:45 and home again by 3:30 in the afternoon. About the time the kids got off the bus. It was a bit of a grind, but with my Mom's help, we all survived.