Ed and I are continuing to sort through the items left behind at his parents’ house. It’s been a slow and painful process. We sort in small amounts because it tends to make both of us a bit sad and depressed. The thought of disposing of the things in the house makes everything seem so final. At times, we just have to step back and take a break from it all. It’s been 8 1/2 months since Ed’s mom passed away, and our feelings are still raw.
We’ve cleaned out and sorted all of the closets, cabinets, drawers, and other storage places. Most things we placed on counter tops and tables so his brothers could see what all was there as they made their journey through the house to choose what they wanted to keep. The past two weekends, the brothers went through the house to take what they wanted.
As I mentioned, yesterday, Ed and I were surprised at some of the things his brothers didn’t choose to keep–the flags from both of their parents funerals, and the aerial photograph of the family farm. I’d asked Ed, early on, if he’d like to have his daddy’s flag, and he replied that he felt sure his brother would want it. I guess Ed was wrong.
Most of what we’ve taken from the house were items of sentimental value. I wanted Ed’s mom’s jello molds and Buster the cookie jar, while Ed claimed the cedar chest that he made in high school, as well as his old bedroom suit. I took back the set of china that we gave Ed’s mama for Christmas, one year, and I chose some stainless flatware to go with it. I chose a few random dishes from her kitchen that meant something to me, too.
Ed’s brothers claimed many items, much of what I considered to be ‘trash’. I guess you just never know what will mean something to someone else! Of course, many things of monetary value were chosen, as well.
Many, many items remain to be disposed of. I suppose at some point, we’ll begin to sell some stuff off, but the thought of doing this is still pretty painful. Once something’s gone, it’s gone. We both know how hard Ed’s parents worked to acquire the things they had. Their home and the things in it meant a lot to them, and while those things may not be worth much to anybody else, they still mean a lot to us!
Ed’s daddy’s flag, along with one of his old caps
The over-looked flags have found a place of honor in our home. I’m proud of the fact that both of Ed’s parents were veterans. Those flags mean something to me! Ed’s mom had her husband’s flag framed, after he passed away. It sat in a place of honor, in her den, for twelve years. Today, the framed flag sits in our home, along with her flag, as well.
I claimed the aerial photograph of the family home and farm, too. It, too, will have a place of honor on the wall. I still remember the tale of how the entire 30 acre family farm and house was purchased for $3000, back in the 1940’s! The house wasn’t finished on the inside, so Ed’s daddy did the work himself. We have old family photos of the family home, during different stages of renovation, throughout the years. Ed has good memories of helping his daddy work the fields of the family farm, while he was growing up, too.
The family home and part of the farm (taken in the mid 80’s)
I don’t know what will eventually end up happening with the family home and the plot of land it sits on. For now, only God knows how that scenario will play out. The rest of the farm was divided between the brothers, before Ed’s mom passed away. For now, the old family home sits empty and forlorn, with only ‘Trouble’, the old cat, to keep it company. She still considers it home. We do, too.