How Do You Decide?

boxes-keep-throw-donate

It has now been over a week since my father passed away, I have been busying myself with “executor” duties almost every day. It is hard to imagine what one must do to “prove” that someone you loved has died until you are actually called upon to do it. Thanks to my awesome friends, sympathy cards continue to arrive. They are sweet and touching but also serve as daily, multi-color reminders that Pop-pop is gone. Sigh… Then there is tomorrow’s task.

Tomorrow I will be at my Dad’s house for two reasons:

1. Monday would have been his 85th birthday so I want to “visit” him and Mom at the cemetery and mark the day with a small celebration.

2. It is time for the purging to begin. To borrow a mantra from professional organizers (and hoarders), it is time to begin the process of “Keep. Throw Away. Donate.”

I am not looking forward to this endeavor.

My Dad lived in the same house for forty-two years and, while he was a tidy guy, he was also very frugal – meaning that few things ever got “thrown away.” This thing was saved for parts. That thing was here in case we “ever needed one.” And let’s be honest – a person just accumulates a LOT of stuff in the course of eighty-plus years of living.

I am going down alone, partly because I need some alone time at my parents’ house and partly because I simply do not know how productive the visit will be. Sure, some things are easy – old magazines and papers, well-worn bath towels and dozens of “I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter” containers with the lids (my Mom always sent food home with us when she was alive). Some things are harder – my Dad’s clothes, some of my Mom’s remaining things that Dad could not bear to part with and pictures, lots of pictures. My senior picture, all the grand kids’ photos – heck, my parents’ fridge is one giant photo collage. Where does it all go? How do you decide what to keep?

I’ve decided to let my heart decide. During future visits I will have input from my sibs but this first “run down” it will just be me, alone in the house my parents loved, the house I grew up in, the place that holds many memories for me. Those are what I most plan on keeping – all the great, loving memories of growing up there, the “Hallmark Holidays” with my family (my goodness, my Mom never met a holiday guest towel or candle ring she didn’t love!), the tree I grew from a seed that is now like 35 feet tall in the back yard, the bent mailbox post (bent because I ran over it as I was learning to drive almost forty years ago…)

Some things will get tossed. Some things will get donated. But some things I will cherish forever.

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No Answer…

As part of my usual evening routine, I typically call my Dad (Pop-pop) about 9PM. I have done this virtually every night since my Mom passed away almost six years ago. I call partially just to check in, to make sure Pop-pop is OK. I call because I love my Dad, and these calls have allowed us to grow closer since my Mom passed away. And I call just to tell him “Goodnight” and that “I love him.”

I did not call tonight. There would have been nothing but a recorded message. My beloved Pop-pop passed away Wednesday morning, 08 October 2014 around 1:15A, after an extended battle with cancer. My call would have gone unanswered.Telephone off ReceiverIt seemed weird tonight, not calling Pop-pop. Granted, our conversations have grown shorter and shorter these past few weeks and months, but tonight my night feels a little empty. I remember reading once somewhere that it takes twenty-one consecutive days to create a “routine” but only three days to break that same behavior.

I think it will take me longer than three days to “forget” about calling Pop-pop. I love you, Daddy-O, and already miss you terribly.

Tired

Every time I hear my phone – be it a text message beep or an actual ringtone – my heart stops for a minute. I always wonder if this will be “the” call.

Pop-pop is fading rapidly now, and whatever residual, foolish hope I and my siblings may have held for a miracle now seems unattainable. My Dad is getting ready to go on to Heaven, or a higher plane, or whatever terminology you prefer. I do not want him to go but I cannot bear to see him suffer.

Well-intentioned friends and family members have suggested we say to Pop-pop that it’s OK. You can go. The really sad thing is, I think they are right. And, I have come to realize that maybe it is not Pop-pop that doesn’t want to let go, it’s me…

You are tiredIt’s a strange feeling, you know, getting ready to essentially become an orphan. No matter how good or bad one’s parents are/were – and mine are/were pretty great – once they leave, once that anchor falls away, we are left alone. I mean, I am lucky – I have an amazing spouse (I love you MSW!), a small but frickin’ outstanding circle of true and loving friends and a pretty great therapist, LOL! I will be fine. But there is definitely an uneasiness hovering nearby me, waiting. Waiting till I am “alone” with my life, with no one really to answer to about it. It is a pretty overwhelming feeling at times.

I am thankful for the loving parents I got. Folks that know me well know I believe we all “pick” our parents – I got a flipping amazing pair. Perfect in their imperfections, my Mom and Dad were a great gift to me. I love them both very much. I miss my Mom every day, and worry now that – regrettably and unavoidably – I will soon miss my Pop-pop every day, too…

I know Mom is waiting for him, and I know he is waiting to see her again. My parents loved one another for fifty-one years, a record I hope to match in my own life with Martin (I have to live to be 100, but I accept the challenge!) My Dad has always been a little lost without Mom and, while I know my Mom has had good company these almost seven years since her crossing over, I know she will be happy to see my Dad again.

My cousin Vickie recently said to me that every one is 33 years old in Heaven. I’m not sure where she got that intel but I like the idea – my Mom and Dad young, beautiful/handsome and very much in love again. I hope Vickie is correct…

 

Sad Man

Someone I love very much is very sick, as in VERY sick. He will not be getting better and today he is having an especially difficult day. It sucks, and I feel powerless to help him…

sad-man

I have begged The Universe to help me understand why this is happening (as has the person in question) and so far, The Universe has been pretty silent on the matter. I am mad, I am sad, I am angry, I am brokenhearted, I am lost and I am just bewildered. I am usually pretty much a control freak so to be going through this, with little no options is contrary to the way I normally “work.” It really pisses me off…

I have been asking for a miracle; now I am just asking for guidance and acceptance. Please hold good intentions and prayers for Pop-pop. He needs them…