Thursday, June 30, 2011

Things- Accepting and Letting Go

Well, I should have known it would happen. I am slowly bringing things back here from my mother's house, one small bit at a time.

Mostly they are things which I do not even remember, or if so, only vaguely. Things which do not strike a memory in me, one way or another. Today it was pillow cases, but only the very soft ones, and some table scarves and doily things and tablecloths- you know- things she never used but kept. I also brought back some practical stuff- old, worn towels which Mr. Moon needs in his garage. I swear, I do not think my mother has bought a new towel in thirty years. They are mostly rags.

I threw away three huge yard-trash bags of stuff. Stuff, stuff, stuff. Partially used bottles of shampoo and OTC medicines. Coat hangers. Hell, I don't even know what all. I'm gathering and piling things for Goodwill or another goodly cause. I want the children to come back over and see if there's anything they want.

There are so many pictures. My brothers should be involved in deciding what to do with those. I sat on the floor today and reached in a box and grabbed and looked at packets and packets of pictures. My mother was no better at getting pictures in albums than I am. Pictures of the family from the seventies. Pictures of trips my mother and her husband took, unidentifiable landscapes, the colors faded and muddy. There are pictures of that man- the stepfather- and I look at them and I feel a slight aversion but unless he is posing with one of us children, so what? His sins were with us and the sight of him in the picture with one of my brothers or with me makes me shudder but beyond that...throw them back in the box. I'll start sorting for real one of these days.

While I was there, a huge storm came in and thunder cracked and lightening flashed and the rain poured down but I was fine. I was listening to a book on tape and the washer and dryer were going. I washed up the sheets on Mother's bed and the towels in her bathroom. It was almost cozy there, even with half of the furniture gone, boxes and piles of things on the floor.
It is a fine place for what it is and it is time for us to get it cleaned up, put on the market, and let it go to someone who needs a safe and sheltered place close to shopping, the post office and with a pool right out front and a working fireplace.

I got home and it has rained here and again, I am grateful. We need every drop. When I got on the interstate, I saw a young oak, an adolescent, perhaps, toppled over from the roots. I guess there was wind. Strange to see a tree, lying on its side, the roots exposed like that.

Well, my trees all appear to be fine. I am cooking artichokes as big as a smart newborn's head for our supper. I am going to Monticello to the Opera House and I will see Kathleen and I am glad for that but I have to leave Mr. Moon some supper, of course. There is half of a cake but man does not live on cake alone and I love him and cannot let him

So it goes. The load of laundry I put in here is done, the artichokes are simmering, the rain is dripping off the leaves, the sky is very gray but light, too, somehow.
The chickens are doing their evening promenade, I have been to the library, I have thrown things away, I have looked into the face of my abuser, albeit through faded pictures, I am okay.
I am good. Things are merely things. If they do not help us or delight us, we should let them go. Sometimes it is hard to know if a thing represents one of those and sometimes, it is very, very easy to know. As I get older, it seems to get easier.

I suppose that's good. I think it is.


  1. Photos...I am still sorting and scanning. While I did not have the tragedy of your stepfather (I would burn them), the middle father (stepfather) I did throw the photos of just him in the garbage. If family was in the photo I kept it. He was a disappointing man who took his vows of marriage to my mom and ignored them. Cheated.

    I do dread the day I will have to go through my mom's home. I would now on a certain level...but I can't. Maybe someday the DPOA and I will talk about this, but legally I don't believe he can let me do this under his watch. Stupid.

    Your spirit feels lifted Mary.

  2. i know what you mean but in a different way. when i had the task of sorting my grandmother's things, there were so many pictures of my younger sisters, esp. of my sister who died, that it was heartbreaking because i was looking at them and knew who there were but since my real mom blocked any contact with my real dad, i never got the chance to know them in that respect (as little girls and amy's been gone almost 26 years now, died in a fire before i even got the chance to meet her) and i feel such shame to be an onlooker and have never felt like such an outsider.

    be well. let the storms bring rain and calm and peace.


  3. The way you weave the rain here, Ms Moon makes me think of it as a good drenching away of old uncomfortable memories and a cleansing time. A Beautiful post as ever. Thanks.

  4. Ellen- Thank god my family isn't that organized.

    Mrs. A- That is so very, very sad. I am so glad that you have your own Mr. M now to be your family. Bless you, baby.

    Elizabeth- Far from it, but thank-you.

    Elisabeth- I can FEEL the rain's cleansing. I swear.

  5. when i got to the end of this post my eyes filled up and i gulped.
    you are so brave.
    i love your writing and your living. i love the way you tell your day and live it, I suppose I mean. the image of you at your mom's washing the sheets, on the floor with the thunder and the pictures and still feeling safe, cozy almost, you keep healing yourself bit by bit and it's astounding to me, wonderful and right.
    artichokes for dinner and cake!
    i need to give you a hug.

  6. That's hard but necessary. I had to do that a couple of times for my parents. Memories are the hardest to let go of.

  7. I am glad you are good, and I hope I have the strength to get to that point someday because I am still holding onto stuff that I know I should let go but I am still clinging to them. Hopefully with age comes more wisdom and I can find that place like you did. Take care friend and enjoy the holiday weekend.

  8. I am glad your trees are okay. And your roots.

  9. I LOVE artichokes and I love your simile about the smart newborn's head. The rest is good too.

  10. You're getting a hug from me, just in case you need it:)!

  11. Bethany- The hardest thing for me is getting in the car and going out the driveway. After that, it's not so hard. I swear to you.
    I love you, girl.

    Syd- Every single thing in someone's house. Keep? Give away? Throw away? Who wants it? It's just a real chore, isn't it?

    Mr. Shife- Our circumstances are different, dear boy. I would be like you.

    gradydoctor- That made me pause. Wow. That's what I was writing about. Part of me is smarter than I know. Thank you.

    Jo- Thanks, sweetie.

    Jill- Whether I need it or not, I will lovingly take it.

  12. After my grandmother died my mother had to practically pry a few things away from my grandfather (who's kind of a classic hoarder). She luckily was able to tuck away my grandmother's journals (around 20 or so!). Some objects, when infused with life, are treasure. It's exhausting because so much of a life flashes in front of us when we have to sort through a loved one's things. All the complications and conflicted feelings and undiluted LOVE just sink in. Praying for calm days for you, beautiful Ms. Moon!

  13. I'd burn your stepdad's photos. Every damn SINGLE ONE of them.

  14. You're doing an amazing job.

    I have to do the same with my aunt's things with my dad this week. She was a hoarder, he's not.

    I want to come and eat artichokes the size of a smart newborn's head! And I love rain as much as you do.

    I love you Mary Moon xx


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