Mon, Sept 18/17
A new week is dawning. The week spells "the return to normal" in every way. Though I know this is good and it is time, I am going to miss being immersed in family and the memories that continually wash over me as we tend to business at hand.
We all returned to your home this past weekend. One of your rabbits was waiting for us upon our return. He didn't beckon me forward. He simply acknowledged me and headed in the opposite direction. He's moving on...
It is good to have a purpose and reason to return to your home. I am grateful for the excuses we have to keep coming back for a while longer. My heart is aching at the thought of removing your essence from the home which was such a big part of you.
Your home was an integral part of our "coming together" as a family. It symbolizes so very much. Christmases past. Reuniting in good times and in bad, in sickness and in health. The list goes on and on...
Your home was more than a piece of real estate. You put your heart and soul into your house and it sheltered you through many a storm. You stood your ground and stayed in your home when we thought it would have been better for you to move out and into a "simpler life".
Simpler for who (or is that whom?), you ask? Yes, you are right. We had our own agenda. We worried about you on your own and we would have worried less, if you had been in a community where support systems were in place. But in the end, you did it your way. And your way was good.
Your home housed all of us as we came together and walked through the last of your days at home. When you were hospitalized, your home sheltered and embraced us as we walked through new and foreign territory. Your house was a port in the storm. We were surrounded by the essence of "you" and it was good. It was the best we could have hoped for during a time when the ground we were walking on was shaky and unfamiliar.
We brought out the outline you created for and with us (approximately twenty five years ago, when death and dying were the furthest thing from your reality) and we talked about the contents of each of the rooms you had earmarked for us. We used your guideline. It was a good one.
We shared what you wanted shared. We compromised. We acknowledged and respected each other's wishes. We gave more than we took.
We each have our strengths and weaknesses. My weakness showed up in a very big way when it came time to sort through material possessions and forty years worth of living at one address.
Wendy and Donna sent me on my way and I sat alone "with you" in your sunroom. I shed a few tears as I thought of the hours we have spent together with you enjoying your favorite reclining spot. I pictured you there and in my mind, I saw the evolution of your slow decline over the course of this spring, summer and fall. I knew in my heart it was time for you to move on and it is good that your spirit has been set free from the confines of a body which was slowing you down.
My heart may break into a million pieces when we deconstruct the home you so carefully built. I may go and spend some time alone before that day comes. I wish I could step in and preserve the world you built around you but I just can't find a way...
Everything happens as it should. The past year has cemented my need to build upon the world I have created here. A year ago, I would have walked away from it all. But during this last year, life presented opportunities which entails staying "here", in the home I have created over the course of the past thirty years.
I want few of the material possessions you have acquired over the years. They hold little value to me. But an idea was planted within my brain last night as I reflected upon the weekend past.
If it is okay with the others, I would like to preserve your "library" after everyone picks and chooses whatever books they wish to have. I will create a little oasis within my home and use your library as a starting point. I will let my heart make the choices and create my own little "sun" room, using your spirit to light the way. No one will recognize what it is, except for the people who knew you well.
No one can take away the memories I have collected within my heart. Yes, life goes on. A new family will move into your house, renovate, live their own life and make their own mark in the world. You have made yours.
As important as your home was to you, it isn't where you left the lasting imprint. It is in our hearts where we will carry a little piece of your feisty spirit. We will mix it together with Dad's way and our own, and we will move on knowing we have our guardian angels watching over us.
P.S. Mom, I found the missing plastic end to the heater you had in the sunroom. How in the world did I find it in with income tax papers from late 1980 to the early 1990's (along with cards, notes and letters from in and around 2012)? I will never know. I lifted it up to show you. I hope you know. The lost has been found. May you rest easy in knowing we will find what is important to us, along our way.
P.P.S. Your rabbits didn't show up when it came time to leave. I missed them. I miss you too.