Since my mom quit living. Time is an odd thing. The first month after she’d gone, it felt like the hurt would never go away. Today, it’s almost as if she’s been gone for years. And when I think of how much there is to do at her place before selling it, it seems like it’s been years.
But, it hasn’t. It’s been three months. The week before last, I emptied the closets and packed up the clothes. For clothes, there are nine good sized boxes to be donated. The towels and blankets went to the National Cat Protection Society, I took those in last Thursday, they filled up my little car.
Besides last Thursday, I didn’t do anything beyond the towels and blankets last week, trying to save my thumb. What I did do was go through the five or six boxes of things I’d brought home. Paperwork, photos, letters, things along that line. Tons of photos of people who I didn’t recognize at all. I kept the ones with mom or dad in them. I kept dad’s retirement paperwork. The other stuff either went into the dumpster or into a box to be shredded. I ended up with one Rubbermaid tub of photos and paperwork. It was sad to see it reduced to just that one container.
Long before my mother died, she’d say to me “Kim gets your father’s Rockwell plates. And I want you to send some money to your cousin Maria. She’s the glue that holds that family together, I want her to have something when I’m gone. I want my stuff to be donated to Father Joe, I do NOT want people walking through my house to buy things, looking at my stuff. And I want you to have everything else, to do what you want with it.”
Well, we’re working on the Father Joe stuff, I’ve got probably one box of things to bring home that I’ll try to sell. Maybe set up a little “garage sale” section on my store. Kim has the plates. And last week, I finally got to the bank to get a cashier’s check made up to send to my cousin. (I was told money orders only go to a thousand dollars.) I had it done for twice the amount my mother had mentioned, due to the rate of exchange and the dollar being so weak overseas.
I went to the local Rite Aid to find an appropriate card to go with it. I ended up with a “thank you” card, because Maria had given my mother so much emotional support throughout the years and I just knew my mother thought the world of her. Maria is my cousin that mom called not once, but twice, from Chase. Mom had that phone number down pat, one of the few things she could remember. Maria was surprised mom had been there since the beginning of January and I was surprised mom had enough brain left to make the call and to let Maria know she was doing fine, visiting friends, away from the phone, not letting Maria know what was really going on. Although I don’t think mom really had a handle on the reality of what had happened to her. But mom loved Maria very much.
After Rite-Aid, I came home, put a short message in the card and printed up two of the photos I’d taken of mom while she was at Chase. I wrote a message on the back of each, and got the envelope addressed. Put it all together, then headed down to a local FedEx shipping place.
The cost to get it there, with tracking, was over $65.00. There was a declaration of what was in it, but I was cautioned to just say “card”. Don’t mention money. I explained what it was and the woman next to me said “that’s really nice of you to do that”. I looked at her, a little confused. I didn’t see what I was doing as “nice”, I saw myself fulfilling my mother’s wishes. She said “well, there are lots of people who’d say “yes, I’ll do that”, then they wouldn’t.” I laughed, told her my mother would haunt me until my dying day if I didn’t do it. And she said “no, that would be your conscience”. Nah, believe me, it would be my mother.
Anyway, I got the tracking number and was really excited when the online tracking showed the envelope delivered. Maria called a couple of hours later, it had taken her that long to compose herself. One of the first things she asked was “do you want this back? I’d understand if you do, it’s a lot of money”. She kept saying that and I kept telling her “no, no, it’s yours, I don’t want it back”. “Are you sure you won’t be calling tomorrow and tell me that you’ve changed your mind?” *laughing*
She said there was no one else home when it arrived, so no one else in the family knew about it. And she wanted to ask all of her sisters (there are nine sisters) to meet her for lunch tomorrow and she was going to give each one an envelope with money in it and then “have lunch on Aunt Vi”. I wonder how that went, I hope they had a good time and raised a glass in mom’s memory.
My mom was a good woman.