Today is the day we have waited for for 10 months. It is time to move on. Many of you have shared our journey over the past year with us—it has not always been an easy one but one we had to travel. Chris’s dad’s illness and death in August 2011 took a toll on us all. As the daughter in law it probably did not have as profound of an impact on me as it did on his children, Chris, Colleen and Carlton, but it impacted me nonetheless. I loved him like a father and respected him. He had raised a wonderful son who I fell in love with and married. That in and of itself made me love him.
We moved into the family home and stayed there full time for 6 months. It was not always easy for me —I will be honest about that. Giving up privacy and getting used to living full time with someone who has special needs is a challenge some days. While I counted it a joy to be able to do it I do not gloss over the fact that it was not the easiest thing that I have ever done. I lost my patience. I lost sleep….a lot of sleep. I missed my husband whose job was traveling back and forth. I was selfish. I wanted things to continue on MY routine. But it was not to be. It was I who had to make some adjustments and learn to live with someone else again who needed structure more than I did. But I did it. Because it was the right thing to do.
Today we are holding an estate auction at the “homestead”. The house will go to new owners next week. After one massive garage sale, 3 roll offs of garbage and lots of items being given away or taken by the children to put in their own homes there is still enough left for an estate auction. It is going to be a day of emotions. As I write this I am awash in them. While “things” do not define a person they are reminders of that person. The things that will go to new homes today are just that—things. But with them are memories that hit me at my very core. The beautiful teacart that Chris’s dad surprised his mom with that she loved so much, the ice cream table and chairs that Grandma Kate had in her house, the couch that Dad basically lived on the last 6 months of his life, the multitude of duck and geese pictures that adorned the walls, the antiques that Dad refinished and poured love into, and the list goes on.
The new owners will not know the history behind the items that they will be taking home. When they listen to the cd of Andrea Bocelli they won’t know that that was a favorite of Dad’s. When the family gathers around the dining room table they will have no idea of how many family meals were shared there by another family. When the car gets new tires the new owner will not know how many miles those other tires traveled taking Dad to doctor’s appointments and to Lee’s Chicken to get Carlton’s favorite meal.
Memories are what keep our loved ones alive in our hearts. It is not the things that we collect that do that. I am going to try hard to remember that today when I see strangers taking bits and pieces of our lives away in their cars. What I have in my heart will never be taken away—the memories are embedded in my soul.
Thank you all for all of your support this past year as we were on this journey. As I wrote this post on the Wednesday before the actual sale I was moved to tears to reflect on how many of you, my followers, have been there for me throughout this journey. I am grateful and wanted to thank each of you for your love and concern.