As many of you know we are working on cleaning out the house here in Ohio since Chris’s dad’s death. It is overwhelming at times. Chris is in and out, flying back and forth, trying to work and make the dollas and I am here overseeing the household. His sister works full time (Special needs teacher) and has a family. It is a lot to ask of someone who has basically given up their year to care for their father to spend a lot of time doing this. So we are doing what we can together when we can. It is overwhelming.
What we have found is basically 3 households. Chris’s folks stuff, his grandmother’s stuff and his grandfather’s stuff. His parents had the responsibility of clearing their households and what it appears to be is that they did and boxed up the important stuff and stowed it in their basement—never to be opened again. It is sad but it is what appears to have happened.
Life stopped somewhere around 2003 or so. That is when health issues started cropping up. That is when trips to the basement became harder and harder if not impossible. That is when my brother in law started being more and more on his own. It is hard to see that in the visual proof that we have in front of us. It makes me feel like we somehow failed. We should have stepped in and helped out more. We should have recognized what was going on but we would breeze in and out, arriving from our home in some other other state (whatever the flavor was at that time) , spent a few days and then left. We wanted to enjoy our time with them and that did not necessarily include doing physical work on the house even though we would have done anything for them at anytime if only we had known. Guess we should have asked more often.
Yesterday the second roll off arrived and it was time to get busy again. My job was to go through all of the food items. I did. I barely survived. At one point I almost hurled. Sorry to be indelicate but it is the truth. Stacks and stacks of canned goods from the 90’s and early 2000’s and boxes and boxes of food. Many,many trips up the basement steps, through the family room, open the door to the garage, box out the two cats who were trying to escape and to the rolloff I went. Exploding cans all over my new jeans. Mouse poop everywhere (I finally went to the gloved hand look) . Dust and grime. I was pretty much a mess by the end of it.
My inlaws were not unlike most of us. They just got to a point where they could no longer manage their house and I feel as if I failed them in that respect. I don’t judge or blame them—it is just what happens. But my big realization yesterday was that there was so much waste. Since Carlton works at SAM’S Club there was much that was purchased there. Huge boxes of vegetables and fruits, jumbo sized packages of kleenex and paper towels. You know what I am talking about!!! The problem is they overbought. Is that typical behavior when you shop at places like warehouse stores???? Just asking!!! I would love to hear your comments on that. Do you have a club membership and do you overshop and hoard? This has changed my perspective on things a lot. Let’s see when I go back to my own home someday what my behavior will be.