Something to hold on to...

"Today I am one day nearer home than ever before. One day nearer the dawning when the fog will lift, mysteries clear, and all question marks straighten up into exclamation points!
 I shall see the King!"     Vance Havner

Thursday, July 22, 2010

And life goes on...

Remember the Bee Gees song, "How Can You Mend a Broken Heart?"

Right now I am thinking that if you replace the word heart with the word home, that is what this family is feeling. The family homestead is breaking. Not by the means by which one might think, but just breaking up, piece by piece. Husband's folks are moving to an assisted living apartment, and this week the task falls on the children to divide, distribute, and pack a lifetime of possessions. The task is physically exhausting, and emotionally devastating. How do you go about doing that right in front of parent's eyes and remain undisturbed? The memories attached to even the simplest object are real and precious.

I emphasize, these are not my birth parents. I lost mine to illnesses long ago. We split up their possessions as well, just not in front of their eyes. These are my parents now. They have been in my life longer than my own were, so I feel that I am not just a daughter-in-law, but I am an adopted daughter.

I have for the most part remained focused, and set to the task of just "doing this". I am a "Daughter-in-Law" I could do this, I could be unemotional and be the one to take care of business. The "real" family will be sad, but I would be fine. Who was I kidding? This morning, I am crying like a baby, and grieving over the smallest object. Each day I feel like I am toting part of their life home with me in the back of my car. Granted, if you inspected the contents a lot of these items are of little material worth. Paper plate holders, a blender (void of all the current bells and whistles), a wicker basket, on old wooden stool. Thing is, these are THEIR paper plate holders, their blender, their basket, their stool. Today I want so much to take it all back, put it back where it goes and forget the plan.

I know the reasons are valid for them to move. I even encouraged it. I just had no idea this would hit ME like this. I did not grow up in this family. Many of their memories are just interesting stories to me. I cannot hang my heart on most of these items. However, I LOVE these people. They became a real part of my family when I lost my own parents. Their memories are precious to me, even if I do not share all of them.

We will plow through, even today, with sorting and packing. We will pick up an object, and pause to learn the story behind. If there is no story, we might even resort to comic relief and make one up. Like the little mottled yellow pitcher that belonged to Aunt Irma. Thing is, there is no Aunt Irma.

Too bad really, if there was, I would let her do this task.

I am certain though, that throughout this day, I will look at every object in a very special way. And there will be tears.


Penny said...

sorry to hear that Ed and Freda are moving, but I am sure lots of prayer went into this decision. It is hard to pack the things away..when my parents moved to Florida, they basically did the same thing..didnt want to move it all..but it was hard then too..take care and know that in the end all will be well as long as Ed and Freda are ok, happy and well.

Inkling said...

I'm with you Aunt Anita. That's the reason I have the scraps of fabric from Grandpa's old chair before it got reupholstered. I think little things like going through the silverware drawer or the drawer that has the weirdest combination of kitchen tools, handyman tools and tape would probably reduce me to tears and snot. Geez, even Grandma's toothbrush drawer would do that to me. If they were still on Walnut, I'd really not survive. It would be too much. No wonder God never meant for this to happen. No wonder He created us to live forever in the Garden. When He makes all things new, I hope there's a Walnut Street with room for all of us.

FarmWife said...

I'm glad everyone is asleep right now so I can cry in peace. It was so good to see you all today. I am truly glad grandma & grandpa have made this decision...I've worried about them a lot...but I'm shocked at how unprepared I was for the empty walls and missing pieces at the house. I cannot imagine how you all have held together through this process. Nesting eggs should not reduce one to tears.

I am so thankful for the memories in that house and honestly thankful that Grandma & Grandpa are around to know how much the things they loved will be loved by us. I wish this was easier.

Grace said...

Oh my goodness. I was not prepared to read this. With all the emotions I'm going thru right now anyway, reading your post and then the comments of the two girls, has brought the tears back. I've been thinking about all you guys working so hard and knowing how emotional this has to be for all of you.