The trip to California was as good as a trip like that gets - the second house is SOLD - after nine months on the market - hooray! My mother has already signed the closing papers and it is final this coming Friday. What a relief.
Mother pledged that once the house sold, she would list the primary residence and prepare to move - for the past few months, she has been doing a ton of stuff, cleaning out closets, painting and interior and exterior, having the gazebo deck refinished - "getting ready to sell." We had the realtor out to visit two days before my departure and Mother informed us that she was not ready to list the house yet. OK - her decision.
The morning I left she informed me that she will not be ready to consider selling the house for at least a year. I was amazed. I wanted to say, "Mom, you are one fall away from some really bad stuff." I didn't. I kept my own counsel. There is not much to say in the last 45 minutes that wouldn't have left us in a weird spot.
Leaving her alone in a two-story house is frightening.
We make our choices and our choices make us. This is the choice she is making now. It is very clear that I need to go home more often.
BACK HOME IN MINNESOTA
I am cleaning out the downstairs closets, getting ready for my handyman and his helper to come on Saturday to clean out the garage. These are the last hidey holes of undiscovered memories from life before death. It has been overwhelming. Pictures, clothing, suits, wedding shoes, theater tickets, guitars, music, so much of our life just laid out at my feet. My darling - my Tom - our life that is no longer.
It is hard. My heart is heavy today and yet, I know it is time. I need the rest of the house to be organized and I need to know where everything is in my home. I need the future.
For nearly three years, I have put so many things on the shelves in the downstairs bedroom and in the laundry room and in the garage. Now is the time. I clean and weep. I go through boxes and laugh and cry. I am full of gratitude yet apt to break down in tears at the slightest provocation.
I find myself slipping back into an old place of "why, why, why did this happen?" There are no answers.
Grief - the transformational journey that keeps on giving - the journey that keeps on ripping your heart out, that keeps reminding you to live in each moment - it is the only one we truly have.
I honor the grief, it has brought me to my knees a million times over, it has tested the resilience of every fiber of my being, it has drawn a new landscape on my soul.
"The hope that is left after all your hopes are gone -- that is pure hope, rooted in the heart."
Gratefulness, the Heart of Prayer