How do you pack up 30 years of memories and life and move it to another state?
With a lot of pain, stress and grief.
Sunday my sister's family and I left owr homes and drove 5 hours to the middle of Nowhere, California to help our dad and his wife pack my grandmother for a move to Phoenix.
Grandma has lived in her current home for 30 years, up until 10 years ago with Grandma V (who was a gardner and carpenter). Now, this week will end an era. Almost like closing a book, at least that is the way she looks at it.
As we packed things into boxes and tried to get her to part with anything she felt as though we were ripping her life away. The smallest of items had meaning. There were empty jars, boxes and boxes of empty jars, apparently for canning, that needed to be thrown away. Tons of yard sale items that had no meaning to anyone in the family and the only meaning to her was that she could make a buck. Boxes of fabric that could not be gotten rid of.
Whether this is a by product of living in very poor times or greed we don't know. What we do know is that this is tearing her appart. She would stash things in her tiny bedroom, knowing full well we would end up in there eventually.
She bad mouthed us anytime she couldn't find something, sure we had thrown something away, something of value, only to find it in some shape or form completly different from what she had us looking for. She felt as though we were conspiring against her. This made it much harder on all of us. We were all at our wits end. We were there to help, not to hurt.
But when it really comes down to it, how do you pack up 30 years of memories and happiness? How do you let go of the "stuff" and keep what is truely important. This is hard for her. I wish there was some way to help her see that we aren't trying to tear her life from her, we are trying to tear away the clutter so the memories and precious things can shine through. That we aren't trying to close her book, but help her start her new chapter. A chapter that she can enjoy with friends and family.
*I have photos, but blogger won't let me upload them...they will come later.