Archives for November 2017

Sifting through the ashes and letting go…

I am haunted by a video clip I saw about a month ago as the California fires devastated so many communities.  A woman of 70 or so was desperately searching through the ashes of her home for her beloved wedding band.

I prayed she would find it knowing that the probability was not good.  Tears streamed down her face as her hands ran through the ashes and I realized much later that it wasn’t so much the wedding ring she was searching for but some tangible remnant of a life that had been swiftly taken from her as the fires raged uncontrollably.  She was forced to let go of all she had known for decades.  Grasping for even one small thing to hang onto she continued to search for something she could hold in her hand.

It was heart wrenching to witness.

My mother is doing the same thing although the circumstances are vastly different.  Her life changed drastically when my father passed away suddenly on March 31st.  I have watched her try to hold on to what she knew, what they shared, what they enjoyed.  She continued to buy the same groceries, making meals my father would enjoy.  Wanting my husband, her son and son in laws to do the things Dad did in the yard, finish the endless projects he started, follow the same routine.  She even wanted me to fill Paul’s plate and serve it to him as she would my Dad.

I got it.  I have been here and witnessed it all.  And it suddenly occurred to me that she was searching through the ashes of her life as well looking for what once was.

It was, is and continues to be heartbreaking.

This week it is especially evident. We found her an apartment in an independent living place near me.  We moved her furniture into her apartment last week-end.  It looks so cute and I was so pleased to see it all come together.  We headed back to Mom’s house to spend the week saying goodbye and pack up her personal items etc. She started focusing on things that didn’t matter, gathering up knick knacks,things she will never use, endless dried flower arrangements, wreaths,  platters, and other odds and ends. I was constantly reminding her that we only had my car and my husband’s car to carry all this and we really needed the room for her clothes, coats, shoes etc. She kept piling it up and I got testy knowing we could get this stuff later. She spent a whole morning looking for placemats that matched napkins she found ( hadn’t been used in decades). She scolded me for putting something on the floor in an emptied bedroom ( floor was clean) and scolded me again for packing her favorite pan and casserole dish. Sigh.

I measured my car to see what we could fit.  I started to panic. We had words. We made up. I realized then that she was still sifting, still looking, still yearning for the life she had with my Dad.

We did find some humor when she mentioned how much she missed Dad. I agreed and told her I missed him as well. She sighed and said she just wished he would come and get her.  This was just after we took her furniture down to her new place. I patted her on the hand and told her  I wouldn’t like that.  Then as an after thought and weary from moving  I asked if she could ask him to wait at least a month before he came and got her, she laughed and so did I.

For being almost 91 years old she is doing well and I am so  proud of her for taking this step forward.

Be like Mom…Keep Triing

What a cute couple !!!

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