Every January I take a week to clean my studio.
This means reorganizing and tossing. It is an arduous job that you all know and love/hate.
But this week my sister and I are cleaning out my mom’s room, an even harder job.
Unlike the studio cleaning this job has some great memories and laughs along the way.
It is much more fun to do the cleaning with a sibling and relive the memories with someone who knew and loved her as much as I do.
My mom moved to the Boston area after my step dad died 9 years ago to live with my older sister.
My sister has a three story two family home. My mom, sister and nephew lived on the top two floors of a very old and very large home. The first floor is a one bedroom rental.
Mom had a fabulous room with TWO walk in closets, an external closet and a great bathroom right off the hall way from the main family living area.
She was right in the middle of all the activity but able to just walk away from it all and close her door to a quiet, peaceful and warm room (warm was very important in an old house in Boston to an old person)
The mass of stuff she was able to cram into this room and two closets is amazing. I am not sure we will be able to get it all sorted out this week, as well as deal with all the legal affairs that have to be dealt with, and on a holiday weekend to boot.
We are taking daily trips to the thrift store, and packing up many boxes as well. It is so very hard to “rid” our selves of her things. But stuff has got to go.
We have found so far, 10 small cuticle scissors, 5 small night lights, 6 magnifying glasses, DOZENS of golf pencils, THOUSANDS of pictures (this is really hard), 50 year old clothes and hats, dozens of purses etc…
Each hat and picture has to be looked at and reviewed. It is exhausting emotionally and physically. But heart warming at the same time.
For those of you that have already done this you know what I mean.
But, if we don’t do it now it will never get done. It certainly makes you realize what to save and what to toss. I want to go home right now and start re-organizing my own “stuff”.
Talking to one of the bankers it was interesting to hear how many people end up (no pun intended) leaving this world around a holiday.
Our family does what we call Fakesgiving and we celebrate a week earlier than the real holiday tomorrow. ALL of our family was gathered this year in Boston for a memorial to my mom a few days after she passed as we were scheduled to be together for Fakesgiving already.
It was a great tribute and send off to mom and a bitter sweet experience for us all.
We took each of the grand kids in her room and told them to take any memento that they wanted. NONE of the them took anything.
Does this mean it was too early for them to process her passing, that they aren’t interested in this “stuff” or that they really aren’t interested in this stuff the way my sister and I are.
At any rate I will pack up and save some things that I think they will want eventually.
THEN when it is time for them to come and clean out my room they can have the joy and pain of deciding how to throw it away.
The life cycle goes on.