I am hauling furniture like a seasoned worker from the local moving company but without pay. I’m what you call cheap labor. Looking down at my ripped arms straining to lug an ancient marble table from condo to car I mentally gage how many steps I have to go before accomplishing this goal. Did I mention the heat and the fact that I am no longer in my thirties or forties for that matter (the truth is I’m practically out of my fifties).
“I have already lost touch with a couple of people I used to be.” Joan Didion
Closing an estate is an arduous chore indeed especially when the players are purposely dreadful. Don’t get me started on Charles Schwab, Bankers, out-of-state Lawyers, or our dysfunctional Healthcare System. No one tells you how to sanely maneuver through this foreign territory. It’s difficult under the best circumstances. Everything requires additional documentation, notaries, registrations, gatekeepers, passwords, and a piece of my heart. Ruthless. I see it this way, she died, the assets go to her children. Why is this so hard to accomplish?
I have to believe Mom is working behind the scenes because despite my best efforts to screw things up there is amazing grace and a lot of serendipity at play. We located the missing key, we find the grace to let her go piece by piece, and then we stumble on a favorite quote she wrote down and left with her hankies. Sue is graciously helping with the legal stuff, we found a reasonable person at the AAA office, and a good bottle of wine in the closet just when we needed it. She saved six two dollar bills, one for each of the grandkids, that’s stinking adorable.
“In three words I can sum up everything I’ve learned about life: it goes on.” Robert Frost
Nancy yells from the back of the house, “I found Dad,” tucked away in a pristine white box neatly labeled Dick Johnson. I said, “I knew he’d be hanging around here somewhere, stack him in the closet next to mom.” We haven’t fully decided what to do with their remains but I’m sure they are ecstatic to be back together in the same form, “from dust we come, to dust we shall return.” Thomas Campbell says, “to live in hearts we leave behind is not to die.” We’re hosting a Celebration of Life next weekend and I’m sure she’ll be fully resurrected for a couple of hours.
One of the pieces I chose to keep was a beloved marble table from my mom’s side of the family. It cost me a toe but I hauled that thing from Los Gatos to Campbell. It now resides between the reading chairs in the master bedroom. It brings a smile to my face each and every morning. I’m enormously grateful to be a hauler of life.
There she is in the beginning, is now, and ever will be. Amen.
What do you need to let go of? Leave it in the comments and we’ll tackle it together.