The Leave-Taking

Dear Friends,  

I have had to do something very difficult this week...dispose of my mom and dad's possessions. It has been a difficult journey. 

For those of you who may not know, my mother has Alzheimer's disease. We had to admit her to an assisted living facility last November and we are now trying to clear out her house to sell it. I'll admit...I procrastinated. Because really, who wants to do such a thing? But necessity and reverse mortgage obligations forced our hand on this, leaving us with few options. Don't get me wrong...I'm grateful we had the reverse mortgage option. It allowed us to keep Mom in her home for a few additional years. But now it's time for closure. 

i guess the reality of it is just now settling in...the leave-taking in my mind of Mom and Dad's things. I had to give myself a pep talk about it. I had to give myself permission to dispose of the sheer volume of stuff that accumulates in a marriage after 50+ years together, an anniversary number I will never know nor celebrate.  

Watching this stuff leave the house in the hands of strangers was difficult. I did pretty well until I watched a guy remove my Daddy's books...He loved his books. I once told Mom, "If you take Dads books away, you might as well amputate his arm." I had a moment of utter regret that I couldn't scoop them all up and take them home with me. There were over 200 of them. Yes, people, 200...

As the week went by, and I became more and more resigned to the inevitable, I realized that the leave-taking is a process. It's not a once and done type of thing. It's a gradual awareness of the fact that things change, and we grow from it. It's a gradual resignation of the fate that comes to us all. It's a growing knowledge that my parents are not their stuff. My parents are the memories I have in my heart. They are the legacy that's worth reading again and again. They are the joy and laughter from my childhood. They are the pain of discipline from my youth. They are the wisdom of my gray hair (if I'd ever let anyone actually SEE my gray hair). They are the sum plus One of my creation.  

I am blessed. Have a wonderful day! 


Just a few of the many books that belonged to Mom and Dad...