Sunday, January 19, 2014

LEAVING HOME, THINGS, DREAMS BEHIND--NEW ASSISTED LIVING HOME

One of the most difficult and gut-wrenching chores of moving to an assisted living home is the leaving behind of. Yes, that process of saying good-bye to items you thought would be with you until the day you died. Items full of memories. Irreplaceable items. I have seen the blank look in the eyes of seniors who are my neighbors here at my current home, they tell of the loss. Their words confirm this.

Some seniors try to keep all that they can squeeze in. Their small units are so packed that it is an obstacle course just to enter, some items even overflow out their front doors into the hall. I have noticed these are the people whose minds are as scattered and cluttered with non-essentials as their apartment is. Very sad.

So sad, in fact, that I feared it, that deep sadness of the leaving behind of.  Not sure when I first feared it, or at least decided I didn't want such sadness, but my partner and I have always chosen a minimalist lifestyle. I am more sentimental than she, with reason.

My reason for keeping certain items was that I believed one day I would hand them down to my family members. Young people in the family, like I was, anxious to learn about our history, share stories of lives gone by, but, no, there are no kids in my family who give a damn about such history. I am flummoxed by this---but there it is. They actually have no interest in me either! My Aunt Violet meant the world to me...so it is hard to understand the indifference of my many nieces and nephews. At any rate, the items are headed for sale, garbage, or charity donation.

As few items as I HAVE collected, it is still a process that leaves me feeling a bit sad. Photos will be removed from the many albums I have collected, put in a shoe box and when I die---into the garbage. I went to a "sale" at my previous apartment complex, the deceased tenant's daughter was selling all of her mother's items. There were many expensive looking pieces of art work about (I would read in her obit that she was the first woman to hold a leadership title at a big-deal New York city art museum. I just didn't have much money on me that day.) but what I wanted was the boxes of old photos she had.

Picking out a few, I asked the totally bored-looking daughter who the people in the photos were: friends? family? She replied with no emotion or involvement (I took to calling her a stone cold bitch.) "I have no idea." I just...I just... I can look at all of the photos Aunt Vi gave me, name 80% of the people in the photos and at least cam say with 99% accuracy if they are friends or family! But, one item was stunning, strange, but story-filled, a PURPLE mink stole! I think it was marked $25.00---IMAGINE! But the sale didn't go well, Goodwill collected most of the items,and stories forever dead.

And so it will be with my items, though I will attempt to write, my hands grow weaker. Once I asked Aunt Vi (I hear my reader's thought at this point.) to tape record her stories. My cousin bought her a recorder. Aunt Vi could never do it. I understand. It is just not the same.

So, as move day grows nearer, away goes the dream of a tea party, laughing over old school photos, playing music from our stereo to fill our space with joy. Farewell cute little stuffed bear that took the place of a pet I'll never have. Adios, to our painting done by the only true friend(s) we had here. And that fake tree in the corner? I had always wanted one...oh well.

The large teak desks---hahaha, I thought for sure our friend with two kids would want them, but NO, desks are relics! Homework is done on the lap, on the couch, in the bed. I will take a photo (that has no negative and will go to "a cloud."), a photo that must do. Make do.

"Make do." I heard my mother say that often.

The 'leaving of' has begun in earnest. Thank goodness I knew this day was coming.

3 comments:

Ami said...

One of the most difficult and gut-wrenching chores of moving to an assisted living home is the leaving behind of. Yes, that process of saying good-bye to items you thought would be with you until the day you died. Items full of memories. Irreplaceable items. I have seen the blank look in the eyes of seniors who are my neighbors here at my current home, they tell of the loss. Their words confirm this.

Some seniors try to keep all that they can squeeze in. Their small units are so packed that it is an obstacle course just to enter, some items even overflow out their front doors into the hall. I have noticed these are the people whose minds are as scattered and cluttered with non-essentials as their apartment is. Very sad.

So sad, in fact, that I feared it, that deep sadness of the leaving behind of.  Not sure when I first feared it, or at least decided I didn't want such sadness, but my partner and I have always chosen a minimalist lifestyle. I am more sentimental than she, with reason.

My reason for keeping certain items was that I believed one day I would hand them down to my family members. Young people in the family, like I was, anxious to learn about our history, share stories of lives gone by, but, no, there are no kids in my family who give a damn about such history. I am flummoxed by this---but there it is. They actually have no interest in me either! My Aunt Violet meant the world to me...so it is hard to understand the indifference of my many nieces and nephews. At any rate, the items are headed for sale, garbage, or charity donation.

As few items as I HAVE collected, it is still a process that leaves me feeling a bit sad. Photos will be removed from the many albums I have collected, put in a shoe box and when I die---into the garbage. I went to a "sale" at my previous apartment complex, the deceased tenant's daughter was selling all of her mother's items. There were many expensive looking pieces of art work about (I would read in her obit that she was the first woman to hold a leadership title at a big-deal New York city art museum. I just didn't have much money on me that day.) but what I wanted was the boxes of old photos she had.

Picking out a few, I asked the totally bored-looking daughter who the people in the photos were: friends? family? She replied with no emotion or involvement (I took to calling her a stone cold bitch.) "I have no idea." I just...I just... I can look at all of the photos Aunt Vi gave me, name 80% of the people in the photos and at least cam say with 99% accuracy if they are friends or family! But, one item was stunning, strange, but story-filled, a PURPLE mink stole! I think it was marked $25.00---IMAGINE! But the sale didn't go well, Goodwill collected most of the items,and stories forever dead.

And so it will be with my items, though I will attempt to write, my hands grow weaker. Once I asked Aunt Vi (I hear my reader's thought at this point.) to tape record her stories. My cousin bought her a recorder. Aunt Vi could never do it. I understand. It is just not the same.

So, as move day grows nearer, away goes the dream of a tea party, laughing over old school photos, playing music from our stereo to fill our space with joy. Farewell cute little stuffed bear that took the place of a pet I'll never have. Adios, to our painting done by the only true friend(s) we had here. And that fake tree in the corner? I had always wanted one...oh well.

The large teak desks---hahaha, I thought for sure our friend with two kids would want them, but NO, desks are relics! Homework is done on the lap, on the couch, in the bed. I will take a photo (that has no negative and will go to "a cloud."), a photo that must do. Make do.

"Make do." I heard my mother say that often.

The 'leaving of' has begun in earnest. Thank goodness I knew this day was coming.

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Mary Gerdt said...

One of the most difficult and gut-wrenching chores of moving to an assisted living home is the leaving behind of. Yes, that process of saying good-bye to items you thought would be with you until the day you died. Items full of memories. Irreplaceable items. I have seen the blank look in the eyes of seniors who are my neighbors here at my current home, they tell of the loss. Their words confirm this.

Some seniors try to keep all that they can squeeze in. Their small units are so packed that it is an obstacle course just to enter, some items even overflow out their front doors into the hall. I have noticed these are the people whose minds are as scattered and cluttered with non-essentials as their apartment is. Very sad.

So sad, in fact, that I feared it, that deep sadness of the leaving behind of.  Not sure when I first feared it, or at least decided I didn't want such sadness, but my partner and I have always chosen a minimalist lifestyle. I am more sentimental than she, with reason.

My reason for keeping certain items was that I believed one day I would hand them down to my family members. Young people in the family, like I was, anxious to learn about our history, share stories of lives gone by, but, no, there are no kids in my family who give a damn about such history. I am flummoxed by this---but there it is. They actually have no interest in me either! My Aunt Violet meant the world to me...so it is hard to understand the indifference of my many nieces and nephews. At any rate, the items are headed for sale, garbage, or charity donation.

As few items as I HAVE collected, it is still a process that leaves me feeling a bit sad. Photos will be removed from the many albums I have collected, put in a shoe box and when I die---into the garbage. I went to a "sale" at my previous apartment complex, the deceased tenant's daughter was selling all of her mother's items. There were many expensive looking pieces of art work about (I would read in her obit that she was the first woman to hold a leadership title at a big-deal New York city art museum. I just didn't have much money on me that day.) but what I wanted was the boxes of old photos she had.

Picking out a few, I asked the totally bored-looking daughter who the people in the photos were: friends? family? She replied with no emotion or involvement (I took to calling her a stone cold bitch.) "I have no idea." I just...I just... I can look at all of the photos Aunt Vi gave me, name 80% of the people in the photos and at least cam say with 99% accuracy if they are friends or family! But, one item was stunning, strange, but story-filled, a PURPLE mink stole! I think it was marked $25.00---IMAGINE! But the sale didn't go well, Goodwill collected most of the items,and stories forever dead.

And so it will be with my items, though I will attempt to write, my hands grow weaker. Once I asked Aunt Vi (I hear my reader's thought at this point.) to tape record her stories. My cousin bought her a recorder. Aunt Vi could never do it. I understand. It is just not the same.

So, as move day grows nearer, away goes the dream of a tea party, laughing over old school photos, playing music from our stereo to fill our space with joy. Farewell cute little stuffed bear that took the place of a pet I'll never have. Adios, to our painting done by the only true friend(s) we had here. And that fake tree in the corner? I had always wanted one...oh well.

The large teak desks---hahaha, I thought for sure our friend with two kids would want them, but NO, desks are relics! Homework is done on the lap, on the couch, in the bed. I will take a photo (that has no negative and will go to "a cloud."), a photo that must do. Make do.

"Make do." I heard my mother say that often.

The 'leaving of' has begun in earnest. Thank goodness I knew this day was coming.

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Diane J Standiford said...

One of the most difficult and gut-wrenching chores of moving to an assisted living home is the leaving behind of. Yes, that process of saying good-bye to items you thought would be with you until the day you died. Items full of memories. Irreplaceable items. I have seen the blank look in the eyes of seniors who are my neighbors here at my current home, they tell of the loss. Their words confirm this.

Some seniors try to keep all that they can squeeze in. Their small units are so packed that it is an obstacle course just to enter, some items even overflow out their front doors into the hall. I have noticed these are the people whose minds are as scattered and cluttered with non-essentials as their apartment is. Very sad.

So sad, in fact, that I feared it, that deep sadness of the leaving behind of.  Not sure when I first feared it, or at least decided I didn't want such sadness, but my partner and I have always chosen a minimalist lifestyle. I am more sentimental than she, with reason.

My reason for keeping certain items was that I believed one day I would hand them down to my family members. Young people in the family, like I was, anxious to learn about our history, share stories of lives gone by, but, no, there are no kids in my family who give a damn about such history. I am flummoxed by this---but there it is. They actually have no interest in me either! My Aunt Violet meant the world to me...so it is hard to understand the indifference of my many nieces and nephews. At any rate, the items are headed for sale, garbage, or charity donation.

As few items as I HAVE collected, it is still a process that leaves me feeling a bit sad. Photos will be removed from the many albums I have collected, put in a shoe box and when I die---into the garbage. I went to a "sale" at my previous apartment complex, the deceased tenant's daughter was selling all of her mother's items. There were many expensive looking pieces of art work about (I would read in her obit that she was the first woman to hold a leadership title at a big-deal New York city art museum. I just didn't have much money on me that day.) but what I wanted was the boxes of old photos she had.

Picking out a few, I asked the totally bored-looking daughter who the people in the photos were: friends? family? She replied with no emotion or involvement (I took to calling her a stone cold bitch.) "I have no idea." I just...I just... I can look at all of the photos Aunt Vi gave me, name 80% of the people in the photos and at least cam say with 99% accuracy if they are friends or family! But, one item was stunning, strange, but story-filled, a PURPLE mink stole! I think it was marked $25.00---IMAGINE! But the sale didn't go well, Goodwill collected most of the items,and stories forever dead.

And so it will be with my items, though I will attempt to write, my hands grow weaker. Once I asked Aunt Vi (I hear my reader's thought at this point.) to tape record her stories. My cousin bought her a recorder. Aunt Vi could never do it. I understand. It is just not the same.

So, as move day grows nearer, away goes the dream of a tea party, laughing over old school photos, playing music from our stereo to fill our space with joy. Farewell cute little stuffed bear that took the place of a pet I'll never have. Adios, to our painting done by the only true friend(s) we had here. And that fake tree in the corner? I had always wanted one...oh well.

The large teak desks---hahaha, I thought for sure our friend with two kids would want them, but NO, desks are relics! Homework is done on the lap, on the couch, in the bed. I will take a photo (that has no negative and will go to "a cloud."), a photo that must do. Make do.

"Make do." I heard my mother say that often.

The 'leaving of' has begun in earnest. Thank goodness I knew this day was coming.

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