|Mom, Marilyn and me|
During the work, we largely ignored Mom Saturday as we went over to her old place at the assisted-living home. We had boxes for each of us three kids ... sometimes welcomed items, sometimes begrudgingly accepted.
There were piles and piles of things that we just had to send to the trash - the detritus of her life but meaningless to us - such as my father's obsessively copious notes from a 1980's trip to Europe (what was the daily weather, what photos were taken exactly at what locations on each day, indexed by 3-4 different sorting schemes). Expired food. Shoes that were badly worn.
The shoes touched me. I recall from a book, The Year of Magical Thinking, that Joan Didion (the author and then a recent widow) was horrified at the idea of throwing away her deceased husband's shoes. Her irrational thought was, "what if he comes back needs them?" As I pitched or donated her shoes (pretty, delicate heels, etc) it just felt so enormously sad to think that she wouldn't ever be that woman again. Same sadness with her art supplies - she's done with those, and off they go. (Note to readers of this blog - we did bring over to her the pink dresses for her to just look at and remember better days....)
And there were piles for charity donation. Usable shoes, clothes that no longer fit. Furniture that was not an 'heirloom'. Dishes. Piles. U-Haul loads of donated items.
|Mom in her new home (with my husband on bed)|
This week I will work on small details like putting more photos on the wall, darkening a too-bright window, changing her mail. But mostly it's just helping her feel at home, really at home.