I see that it’s been nine months since I last wrote a blog entry. Enough time to birth a baby… Sometimes with all that’s gone on, it seems like that’s what’s gone on…
The year has been consumed with settling Mom’s estate and with the process of going through her house and sorting through 52 years worth of stuff. I came by my pack-rat mentality honestly; I’m amazed by how much Mom had stored through that house (which, much like a Tardis, was bigger on the inside. My parents never moved… they just kept remodeling and adding on to the house.) Considering her dementia, it’s been a painstaking task of going through virtually everything to see what might be hidden. I’ve been so very blessed to have two of her favorite caregivers helping me with the task. They are good women, God believing and God fearing salt of the earth types and I consider them family. They cry with me as we go through things. It’s been an emotionally draining experience. I’m trying to be very picky in what I take home with me. Heaven knows I have enough stuff in my home after 30 years of marriage, so I’m trying to only keep things that mean something.
And I’ve found some surprises. Who knew my dad was sentimental enough to keep the receipt from their honeymoon trip in his wallet after 50 years? I found their wedding vows, carefully typed out. I found photo albums my mom had very carefully pulled together in better days, culling only the best pictures of all of us so I’d have them all in one spot. I found that they’d kept my acceptance letter from Thornwood and all my grade reports from Thornwood, Darlington, Emory, and Georgia Tech (with my grade average very accurately calculated on each in my mom’s handwriting).
In a couple of weeks, I’m taking a truck up there to gather the rest of the things I’m moving south — my grandmother’s dining set, my aunt’s antique table, the rocking chairs Dad loved to sit in on the sun porch and some other items… I’ll incorporate all these into my life somehow. Then I’ll face putting my childhood home on the market. More emotional upheaval. Being a grownup truly sucks.
Some of it will go to our place in Highlands. We were able to realize a dream when a condo in our price range was still available after we’d looked at it last summer. We’ve had a bit of remodeling done (the baths were vintage 1973) and that’s going to be completed soon… so far we’ve managed at least one trip up each month, and we love it there.
So I face my first holiday without either parent. Another rite of passage. Richard and I decided that for this year, we’d celebrate the holidays as a couple as a start to the rest of our lives. For Thanksgiving, we’re gonna open up a buffet here, load Penny in the car afterwards, and head to Pigeon Forge. I figured the mature thing to do was to run away from the situation.
This year I’m thankful for my husband, who has been my rock through everything; for my group of besties who listen to me rant and rave and cry and love me anyway; for my church – I can honestly say I don’t know what I would have done without the loving group of people at Covenant Presbyterian and without Zeta, our pastor. I’m thankful I live in a country where I’m free to work, to worship, to speak, and to do what I please. I’m thankful there are people who make sacrifices so I can be free.
I’m thankful that I grew up with loving parents who continue to care for me. Love you and miss you.