Friday, April 27, 2012

We are in SUCH a mess. My mother's flat (10 rooms, most of them large and all of them filled with - not valuable, but valued - possessions) is now more or less empty. And far too many of the former contents are in our sitting room. Some of them are in our kitchen. A large corner cupboard, which Daughter 1 likes but has no room for in her present house, is lying on its side in Son's old bedroom. Currently it's quite hard to negotiate our way from one side of our sitting room to the other.

On the up side, Daughters 1 and 2 and Son are at some point going to come and take some of these things away. On the down side, there's going to be quite a bit left. Even at the last moment, as the auctioneer's men were putting labels on things, I was suddenly thinking, oh, I can't let those particular teaspoons be sold - Mum's so fond of them. (Do we need teaspoons? Or those pretty little bowls? Or anything more at all? No. But we've got them now.)

At the same time, it was so horrible to see many of Mum's treasured little bits and pieces being wrapped up and carried away.

I've emptied a display cupboard in the kitchen and arranged Great Great Auntie Bee's teaset and Mum's wedding present coffee set in it. And I've wrapped up most of the things that were in that cupboard and put them in a bag to give to a charity shop. Most of the things, but of course not all. The rest... are sitting about the kitchen. As is my Granny's silver wedding china.

Tomorrow: take Mum to have her hair done, then drive a whole carful of household equipment to Fresh Start, then take another carful of tablecloths and little crocheted mats and hats worn to weddings and Mum's cocktail dresses to a charity shop. And then try to clear a path through the sitting room.



10 comments:

Gillie said...

So hard, Isabelle, sending hugs. We did it when our mums were gone so maybe easier, not sure, still that awful indecision as to whether we should get rid of something.

magsmcc said...

Oh my. This will pass. This will get better. But glory, so much work in between. I can only advocate gin and tonic at these times. I have no words!

Ali Honey said...

For us similar problems but with the younger generation - we got a container!

persiflage said...

Yes, it is a difficult process, combining all the emotional attachments and memories, with the problems of aging, and the feelings that the person whose possessions they are/were is somehow almost evaporating with every passing day.
As I strive to reduce the number of things from the completed chapters of my life, I imagine my children doing the same with my own things, and (to my mind, sadly) lacking the desire for continuity and remembrance.

Lucille said...

Persiflage has expressed the ageing process so well, the completed chapters and the evaporation, but I am trying hard to remember to hold on to the essence, which has nothing to do with possessions.

SmitoniusAndSonata said...

It's impossible to separate the things from memories and emotions , when you first start doing this , I found . I had to hang onto every last mortal thing for quite a while before I could sensibly work out what to keep .
Luckily your mother has quite a few grandchildren to share all these treasures among .

Gina E. said...

Oh Isabelle, you're not going to give hand embroidered table cloths to an opshop....are you? If you want them to go to a good home, I am willing to pay you for them. PLEASE email me or leave a message on my blog if you would be so kind!

Amy said...

If only I had had the money to purchase the flat as furnished. I would dearly have loved to been able to do so! But, alas and alack I do not have the funds. In my family we have no great aunts, grandparents etc reminders. That is the problem with immigrating. You have to lease so much behind. My grandmother came over in 1906 and two greats came over in the 1880's. Only one side came over in the 1600's and if there were any "treasures" they didn't make it to this corner of the family. So I envy you your treasures. Glad you could keep some.

Dragonfly Dreams said...

I am in awe at the grace and patience you have continued to show throughout this very challenging time for you and your mother. Even though you may get frustrated at times, you have such a beautiful heart. ((((HUGS))))

Lucy said...

An awful process, exhausting in every way, I remember it well. You can drown in that stuff. But it is only stuff, it's not the person, it's not even the memories. And very old things are only valuable becuase most of them don't survive!

Good luck and good courage, of which you have shown much already.