I’m finally done. Done with the heavy project of deciding what to do with all mom’s personal possessions, and making sure her home was left the way she’d want it left for the new owners. It’s taken so long, months due to the travel time each way, my lack of stamina, the need to recuperate before going again. Thankfully, I wasn’t under a time-limit imposed by anyone else. I’d never agree to do this for anyone again, I only agreed because mom asked because I was the only one who could do it, that she’d trust to do it. I’d caution anyone who thinks they can do it on their own, even if they are healthy, just the emotional toll is pretty heavy.
Mom didn’t have a lot of stuff on the surface, everything had a place, and was in its place. The reality though, Mom had so much stuff, even though she’d already downsized once. Trying to decide what to do with everything is emotional. Keep it? Give away? If so, who to? Sell it? What’s it worth to a stranger? How to sell it? What to do with all the other bits and pieces that accumulate over a very long lifetime.
Then there are the memories you trip over when you least expect them. So many memories come back going through stuff you remember from being little, doesn’t matter what it is, could be an old cake tin, hammer, Christmas ornament.
One of mine was finding something I’d forgotten all about. That old Christmas Card box full of assorted (very old) mismatched marbles. Then finding the homemade/hand painted wooden dual sided checker board in the same closet. Memories of somehow managing to cobble enough sets of same/close enough colored marbles so each of us could play Chinese checkers sitting around the table, especially at Christmas time. I never found the checker pieces for when you turned the board over to show the painted red and black boxes, somewhere along the way they went missing, perhaps because only two could play at one time, instead of all the family playing.
That board and box of marbles has been in the family far longer than I have, and one of the few things I can’t trace back to who made the board, or even, which side of the family it came from. I did know instantly that this handmade dual-sided checkerboard wasn’t meant to be given away, or sold, it has far too many good memories attached to it, to let it go. I’ll find a space for it. Perhaps, I’ll even convince hubby to play it with me and make more memories.