Last Monday I drove from my home in New England to the Midwest to help my mother (who lives in a neighboring state and had arrived a couple days earlier), grandmother, and aunt. We sorted, packed, and purged items from grandma's home so that she only takes what she really wants and needs to the villa. The house she is selling has lots of storage, which means she had plenty of space to keep everything. I told my husband that I am glad our house doesn't have much storage space because having lots of storage space simply means the storage space gets filled with stuff.
|The schnauzer-boxer mix puppy who almost |
convinced me to bring her home
from the animal shelter.
I am so proud of my grandma. This decision was very hard for her, but she's been brave. Like most people, she doesn't like change. She was comfortable living in her own home. However, she realized that she honestly couldn't maintain a house on her own anymore. She got choked up several times when she looked at paperwork that mentioned her family and friends who died before her, including all three of her sons. Many memories were stirred up throughout the week as we handled gifts and cards, obituaries and photographs.
As we sorted, my mother and I each took some items that were special or useful to us. Grandma used to do a lot of canning and gardening. I learned those hobbies from her, so I took some of the kitchen and garden tools.
I spent a good bit of time scrubbing and sweeping spaces that had been hard for Grandma to maintain for the past few years since climbing stairs has become difficult, and a bit scary, for her. This "alone time" gave me a chance to reflect. Many families have to go through their loved ones belongings after they pass away. I feel very blessed that we were able to go through the things with Grandma. We got to hear stories of where certain items were purchased (like the full set of Fiesta dishes she and Grandpa bought for $25 when they were first married) or the juice glasses her mother purchased in Florida when they owned a motel in Ft. Lauderdale.
The week also gave me a chance to spend time with my aunt (Grandma's daughter-in-law) who has been a generous caretaker for Grandma for many years. Since Grandma stopped driving about 10 years ago, my aunt has taken her to doctor's appointments, the hairdresser, and the grocery store. She really made it possible for Grandma to live on her own for much longer than she could have otherwise with my mom and I living several hours away in opposite directions. We enjoyed having several meals together in between the cleaning and packing.
|Grandma's dress, which is now my dress.|
The week went by quickly, but I'm so grateful to have spent the time with my grandma, mom, and aunt as grandma prepares for the next chapter in her life.