If you ever end up having to shred documents for family, you might want to consider shredding them face down. Going through every cancelled check and piece of paper can drag you through their lives all over again, like it or not.
I’ve ended up with all of the family pictures. In boxes. In no particular order. It was hard enough to realize that my parent’s legacy is basically just us. The rest of it came down to a bunch of stuff that nobody wanted and a house.
They’re our family pictures; our family history. I don’t really want them, but throwing them away just seems wrong. So I’ve been taking pictures of pictures. I’m planning on posting them on line so family members can access them and throwing the actual pictures away.
It was hard, but I actually threw away the box full of pictures. Including the 16″ x 20″ picture of grandma. Photographers must have been like used car salesmen back in the day. What sensible person buys a picture that size?
Hi Mom. Went to the doctor (nephrologist) today. I know how you used to like to know how those went. Pretty good, since I haven’t seen her since July. I like her. She listens to me. I feel like we’re partners in my health care. She puts in as much effort as I do. She won’t do more than I do, but if I care enough to do something, she’ll make sure I get full benefit from it.
I asked her about my rheumatologist. I got a letter telling me so sorry, the doctor has passed away, please find a new doctor. That wouldn’t be such a big deal if I hadn’t been seeing him for so damn long. I’ve been wondering since I got that letter. I miss him more than just about anyone that I’m neither related or have been married to. But my nephrologist said that one of the office people came in and found him dead on the office floor and that was as much as anyone knows; they didn’t do an autopsy. I don’t know why, but it makes me feel better to know. Now I don’t have to imagine.
I was talking to the doctor about the last year and you came up, and the fact that I’m not working anymore. I found out that she has cut down to one day a week since her mother died not long ago. I was surprised that someone had the same reaction to losing their mom that I did. Life is short, spend at least some of doing what you want to do.
You died late last September and despite our 60 years together I still feel like I have a lot to talk to you about. I miss that most of all; being able to talk to you. You were always my best cheerleader. I could bring you any triumph, no matter how small and know I had someone to celebrate with. I miss that a lot, too.
I did what I said I was going to do and stopped working. It’s much less stressful. And, dammit, my lifespan is likely to be somewhat shorter than it might have been if I didn’t have lupus, so I want to be able to enjoy not working. So I’m not working.
Life without you is just not the same. I still want to talk to you. And so this. More later.
Went with my sisters over to work on Mom and Dad’s house Saturday. We really didn’t get much done; we spent most of our time walking from room to room being sad and playing “Do you remember when?” Losing Mom seems to have made all of us feel like we’ve lost Dad all over again, too. At least we came up with a plan for what to do next time we’re there.
We were supposed to do it last weekend, but I came down with the flu on New Year’s Eve and I’m still not feeling that great. I’ve never had a flu last this long. It’s very demoralizing. I have a friend who I love, but she has some weird ideas. She thinks that flu vaccinations are a government conspiracy. A conspiracy to what she can’t tell me. I think it’s a conspiracy to keep workers at work and out of emergency rooms.
We wandered around the rooms saying “Do you want this? Do you want that? You said you wanted it.” I, between still not feeling good and being sad about losing Mom, just couldn’t be bothered. Youngest sister wisely said “We’ll decide later. You might regret any decision you make right now.” And even though I just don’t want to deal with these things, I feel like she’s probably right.
So instead I been taking my “I don’t want to have to deal with it” out on things at home. The plastic tub I tried to grow a cat lawn in but instead my cat used it for a cat box. Out it went, dirt and all. One of the big green containers I got to hold potting soil, but never used, away with it. Next will be the big thing we put an old umbrella on. I’m going to take it apart and see if I can get the Spouse to make it go away. I just don’t want to have to deal with it.
I thought it was an auspicious beginning for a holiday road trip.
We started at Balboa Island. Quite some time ago we went to an olive oil tasting and a talk on the Mediterranean diet. They had a shop on Balboa and the Spouse had kept the flyer, wanting to go there someday. The store was still there, so we went in. The guy who’d given the talk was there. He talked us into some oil and we left happy.
It had been a very long time since I’d been there. We stayed on the island a few times when we were kids. The population was a little more diverse, but it seemed otherwise unchanged from when I went there as a kid.
We’re going to go out of town for Christmas this year. The first year without Mom. I’m both really sad and really excited. The family’s only down one member, but she was a large presence in the family and she was pretty much in charge of Christmas. And we’ve done the same thing every Christmas for the past fifty years. This year I just want to do something else, to be someplace else. I don’t want to get stuck trying to make things the same as they were like my mom did. It was just sad. We have a chance to do something different. With no guilt. The Wonderful Spouse is doing the planning. It’s a first.