Thursday, March 1, 2012

Mom's Stuff

There are still signs of my Mom everywhere even though she's been gone for over a year. Several weeks ago the lead caregiver at the adult family home asked me to sort through her makeup and perfumes which were still in a drawer of a small cabinet in Dad's room. I've known they were there; it just seemed that leaving them as they were was "OK". But, for some reason, the issue came up and I removed them. Most of the perfume was old and beyond use but I did save the Shalimar, a scent she rarely wore in recent years but a perfume she treasured.

The small, well worn zippered makeup bag I casually dropped in my closet, not sure when I would feel in the mood to look through it. Today was the day. Not much to keep; old Mary Kay lipsticks and eye shadows, a variety of make-up brushes, an eyebrow pencil and some fingernail implements. I pitched them all and the case in the trash after holding each one in my hands and mentally saying a quick good bye.

Remaining is a old train case containing all of her jewelry. One of these days MM and I will need to apportion the contents to Mom's granddaughters and perhaps the great granddaughters. We've already selected items for ourselves long ago, when Mom was alive. She enjoyed seeing us wear different pieces that were special to her.

I have all Mom's glasses in cases; she apparently kept every pair for the last twenty years. Apparently these can be donated at optical shops, suitable for recycling or reuse. I'll drop these off when I remember.

The process is surprisingly slow. but at least I'm feeling less emotional about all these things that belonged to Mom. Less raw, I suppose. They, after all, aren't her. They're just things she had or used in some way. It's time to let go.

The  larger task is Mom and Dad's former home. We'll be tackling that project in pieces. As Mom once told me....."You and your sister are going to have quite a job on your hands (what about our brother, Mom? Is he off the hook?) when it comes to breaking up that house." Indeed, Mom. Indeed.

1 comment:

  1. Clearing out Mom and Dad's home was a real emotional chore for us. We ended up hiring a small business that ran estate sales to deal with most of the stuff, but before we did that, we spent several days going through stuff and throwing it away. It was overwhelming. There were so many things that were family-related that we didn't preserve, and so many things that were valuable in their own right that we didn't care about. I will always second guess it on the detail level, but in the larger view, we did the right thing.

    Of course, Mom is still alive, and she doesn't express any loss of all that stuff, so I think it was the right decision.


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