It has been difficult letting go of Mom and Dad. It has been made more difficult by the fact that I am the one who has to sort through and distribute their possessions. Mom and Dad were both hoarders. It happens that I am one, too. Letting go is difficult.
Sorting through Mom’s bookshelf was made a little easier by a new friend who boxed up the books so I can go through them one at a time-judging to sell, donate or keep what is left. I have kept little. It feels like a betrayal of her memory. This was hers-part of what made her, her. The books she read became the stories that were the building blocks of her memory, mind and mindset. Letting go is difficult.
I’ve gone through the clothing-some to make teddy bears with for the family. Both Mom and Dad’s pants and shirts have gone into the mix-I will keep a bear made of both of my parent’s clothing. They were one unit, one entity, and though they were one, each side of the bear, made of the clothing of one of them, will remind me that they were separate people as well. Letting go is difficult.
Mom’s Bibles are staying, mostly-I have offered some to the people in the family, though only a couple of folks said yes. Mom’s faith defined her more than almost anything. I would have thought the Bibles would have had a higher demand value than they do. I have been wrong before, after all. I read them, sometimes just hold one, running my finger down a spine of a concordance or over the leather cover just to feel like I can pretend to reach out and grab Mom’s hand. Letting go is difficult.
Dad had a different kind of hoard. Tools, supplies including office, paper (that even means paper towels bought in bulk, y’all…), and knick-knacks that his kids, grandkids and great grandkids have given him…that seems like a betrayal to get rid of them. a betrayal of the people who gave the gifts and like I am kicking a part of my father out of his own home. Letting go is difficult.
I have asked for help cleaning. These requests go back to before Mom died in 2013. Not to much of anything has come of it but the question, how much did you do yet? My back is part of the reason I am disabled. lifting, toting, sitting or standing for extended periods of time cause me great pain. And I do as much as I can on a daily basis. There are days when getting out of bed, let alone doing the much needed cleaning is too much. Letting go is difficult.
But somehow, the cleaning goes on. it is slow. it is tedious. it is painful and causes depression so bone deep that I cannot actually express it. But I know they both did not like the way they lived; and yet, letting go is difficult.
Each day something goes. whether it’s a used up roll of the paper towels taking over the living room, or a box of books being sealed shut with a list of what is in it written in Sharpie on the outside for taxable donation purposes…I have to think of Dad’s estate taxes next year, after all. Letting go is difficult.
So I get up every day. Let the dog Dad loved so much outside to attend to nature then feed her. Feed his fish which are healthy though at times I look at them and wish them gone because they are here and he is not. and I top off their water in the tank. For Dad. because letting go is difficult.
Every day I decide that it is nice to be nice and I treat someone who really may not deserve it the way my Mom would-it’s nice to be nice. I don’t always manage it. I’m a miserable cuss most of the time. but it’s nice to be nice. and letting go is difficult.
When the time comes, I drop off the boxes, the bags, the extras to where they are earmarked. I have asked Bekah to photograph and sell the things that can help to put food on our table, and try to remember the good…because letting go is difficult.
I will never forget. I will always love. And I will always remember…that letting go is difficult.