Wednesday, November 25, 2015

May they rest in peace...

After my last blog entry, a dear friend asked what was the weirdest thing that I found while cleaning/purging/screaming. I had some items that could be considered, but nothing that was the weirdest.

I now have another entry into the contest. I finally found a baggy of lids that I have been wondering about for years. They are the ones that Mom took off of every jar in the kitchen one year. I knew she hadn't thrown them away- that was apparently against her beliefs.

While it probably isn't the weirdest, it does bring me closure- and that's something those jars went to their graves without.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

On a roll...

In the past 10 days we have taken 18 big black bags of trash out of this house and surrounding areas To be fair that includes every pillow and blanket that my mother ever owned in her entire life, at least it seems that way (and, yes, we donated what we could). Those take up a lot of trash bags. We have dragged 2 recliners, 1 couch, 1 love seat, 2 mattresses and 1 box spring to the curb to be hauled away. I have had 2 yard sales and taken the remains to Goodwill (another 8 bags of stuff). The scrubbing, the yanking, the lifting, the LAUNDRY!  Oh the laundry I've done. I washed everything that was going into the yard sale and everything that went to Goodwill, plus our own everyday laundry. And with all of that do you know what hurts the most?  My hands.  They are dry, cracked and just ache. I need to buy stock in Jergens.

PLEASE for the sake of your children, don't have umpteen collections of piggy banks, thimbles, boxes (Oh my, the boxes... wooden, plastic, card board, pottery, broken, missing parts, big, little, pretty, ugly, etc.), toys (including bags and bags of Happy Meal toys), copper, coffee mugs, books, etc.  And for the love of sanity do NOT keep things that you "might need some day"!

We're on a roll now, I tell ya!  On a ROLL!!

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Layers of destruction...

Slowly, ever so slowly, I have been making my way through Mom's room and other stash worthy areas. Each day I seem to be reminded of the toll that Alzheimer's has on a person's life, not just social and health tolls, but the things that we find comfort in caring for while they are in our trust.

Now, Mom was never considered a great housekeeper, not even a good one.  If we came home and the house was neater than usual our first question was, "Who's coming over?"  She never seemed to care that most of our furniture were cast offs from friends and family.  None of that was important. There were a few things though that she cherished and treated well.  Her bedroom set fell into that category.  My parents bought that set long before I was born and Mom loved it. I learned how to care for wood furniture through her and those  pieces.  Heaven help the child who set a cup or a plate on that furniture.  She had thick protective glass pieces on the tops of each one.

Which makes the finally digging through the piles of stuff of the last 10 years of hoarding to the furniture beneath all the more heartbreaking.  This "is" her vanity.

While I was never a fan of the style, it was still a beautiful piece of furniture. The high boy and night stand that remain of the set are in slightly better condition.  She would be crushed to see what she did while under control of the disease.

To me, this represents all that Alzheimer's has done to my family over the course of its destruction.  It took a family and destroyed layers to the point that they can't be fixed.  While other parts are damaged but salvageable, standing tall and strong.  Unlike this vanity, my family and I have the gifts of hope, forgiveness and love.  I believe we will be just fine.  The furniture?  Not so much.