The house is sold. The mortgage now paid. The bills reimbursed. The profits disbursed. The 1,400 mile road trip behind me. Relief? A little. But only a little.
Now I'm facing the six truckloads of stuff we cleared out of the house. I have 1,200 square feet of my building full and running over. More emotional stress ahead as I have to go through and then dispose of the last remaining details that define my children's lives. All of the personal things that represented who they were; the art and decorations Kara chose to make her house a home; the tools that Brian worked with that made his family a living; the toys Paxton played with in the bathtub every night; stray dishes, small appliances, her workout tapes, his weight bench, the grill that they cooked burgers on when family and friends came over on summer nights, the vases that sat on the fireplace hearth; the dozens of books on history, biblical history, bible prophecy, various versions of the bible and several study bibles that Brian collected; the bottle of wine with the commemorative label marking the day they married, the notebook Kara jotted down the details of her upcoming wedding in as well as Brian's corresponding "crazy" list another treasured find so typical of his sense of humor like:
- who to throw food at during the reception: Mom, Dad, Kara's brother...
- things for my sister to swing from at the wedding
There are the pictures that hung on the wall of the family and the camping gear that they used when they camped out with Kara's best friend and her husband for Brian's favorite race at Talladega every spring.
Nothing of monetary value and yet the essence of who they were; making them the most valuable things they owned --to me.
And yet --what do I do with it all? I can't keep 1,200 square feet of unorganized random clutter. But how on earth do I dispose of it either? These are personal, private pieces of who they were and they are all we now have left.
Makes you think about all the stuff you own that would tell the world about who you are and how you lived your life?
So anyway I now have the gut-wrenching job of going through it all piece by piece and then trying to figure out what to do with it all when getting rid of any of it just seems so wrong.
And my real fear is that I won't. I'm afraid I will hold on to it - plastic cool whip bowls and all. It took me three years to go through the remnants of my mother's apartment and I still have the clothes, shoes and purse that she had at the hospital that last night...16 years ago.
We are trying to clean out and clear out and pare down our 38 years of stuff so we can downsize and function on a more manageable scale. Now instead of paring down we have added 1,200 square feet of personal, painful, stray leftover details of the lives of my children - what do you do with that? How do you do anything with that?
This is me we're talking about - the person that has a sentimental attachment to everything!
I am the one that loves and cares for and feels an obligation to antique furniture that belonged to total strangers that I never even knew; and the one that keeps orphaned dishes for 42 years because I bought them when I was pregnant with Brian and odd coffee mugs that I always hated simply because they now seem like part of my family! I have Christmas cards from 20 Christmases ago and every birthday card, anniversary card or mother's day card I've ever received. I have a collar and rabies tag from a family dog that died 12 years ago!
How am I now going to actually let go of what little that I have left of my children?
I don't know about you but I'm betting our downsizing has just come to a screeching halt.
I am open to suggestions - ?