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Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Things Remembered

Most of you know that my mom passed away from cancer almost 15 years ago. A year after she passed away my dad got remarried, sold my childhood home, and packed a lot of my mom's things to put away for the future when myself and my 2 brothers and 2 sisters would be grown and appreciate the items. Well, fast forward to today and we have finally gone through everything. My brother and I organized a huge garage sale to get rid of the items we no longer needed/wanted.

On the one hand it's been very nostalgic to see old toys and books and nick-nacks from my past life, but on the other hand it's been very overwhelming. Cancer doesn't just happen to one person, it happens to the entire family, especially when the person with the cancer curse is your mother. Silly little meaningless and insignificant items have the strangest way of reminding you of something that you never would have remembered unless you saw that item again. Like a cheap toll-painted wood napkin holder that always sat on the kitchen counter, or a note pad with Suzi-Zoo animals on it that your mom wrote phone messages on, or a small wooden box with Chuck-E-Cheese coins and tokens that was left over from your baby brother's birthday party that he used to play "pirate treasure" with.

Sifting and sorting through a childhood of memories, most of the memories good, some bad, and several sad...it's a lot of work to go through it all! (Emotionally and physically). We found a box of cancer books, information pamphlets, a Day Runner with doctor appointments and doctor business cards in, and hospice care "encouragement/support for the caregiver". It was definitely overwhelming...and in a way very symbolic when we were able to THROW it all in the trash can! Not sure why it took so long to throw that box away, but I have to admit it was one of the best feelings to dump it all and walk away. God is so much bigger than that box! My childhood and my experiences were not normal. But it was my childhood and my history.
As evidenced by the boxes of memories my mom tried to create for her children, she and my dad tried to make it as much of a normal situation as it could be. I am thankful for the memories she gave us, and even more thankful for the life lessons that my parents taught us.

Garage sales are a stinking pain in the booty to organize and then have...and garage sale shoppers can be very (...how shall I  put it...) unique? But it was an amazing feeling to be able to help one particular gentleman get back on his feet...bless his heart...he just entered an Independent Living program, and was looking for furniture and dishes and anything for his new apartment. He was proud that he could purchase the items he needed, and was grateful for the "extra" things we gave him. At the end of the day, we did make a little bit of junk change, but the experience of cleansing our memories and letting the clutter of the past make it's way to a new home and new life was very much worth the work and effort put in to the garage sale. I am thankful that I had a mother that worked so hard to give us a childhood as free from cancer as was possible. Now that the items we wanted to keep are on display in their new homes, and everything else is gone, the past can finally be put to rest. It's over. There are no more boxes of cancer books, no more boxes of bad memories, only good memories are left now.

The cutest little Garage Sale Mascot ever!

As difficult as it was to part with many of the items, having such strong ties and memory of my mom attached, it was therapeutic and healing to go through the items and see them and hold them and then open my hand and my heart and let them go.

My mom's pretty wedding china is now on display in my home...I love having it out to look at...it makes me so happy to have this reminder of her!

1 comment:

  1. Jaclyn,

    I remember the napkin holder that always sat on your mom's kitchen counter, and I remember her beautiful china. I'm so glad you have that now. And, of course, I remember you as a little girl and through the years as you grew into the beautiful woman you are now. Your mom would be so proud of you. So am I. I love you, Honey.

    Your Auntie Karen


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