Mom's words from the beginning were ... "I don't want anything to do with it. You girls do what needs to be done and just get along." So long distance conversations with my sisters took place through phone calls, texts, emails, and facebook messages until a decision and a plan was finally made. The third week in March would be THE WEEK. Individually armed with our own emotions, stresses, worries, and concerns, we began the task at hand but not before walking through the house as if to capture one last glimpse of what used to be, taking mental pictures of each room and capturing moments and memories to be stored forever in our hearts and minds. We hoped that we would indeed get along.
Room by room, we removed items from the walls (family pictures, shadow box Christmas gifts, 4-H string art projects; grandchildren hand-print gifts, and a cuckoo clock). We removed items from shelves (anniversary gifts, favorite collections of glass-blown figures and clowns, music boxes, and more). We removed items from rooms (dad's chair, the corner cabinet, a dining room table set, the black foot stool). We removed items from closets (sheet sets -- but first one more long inhale as we held them tight against our chests; crocheted afghans -- one for each grandchild; hand-stitched quilts -- I'll take the green one; mom's blazers -- seriously, more blazers??) And we got along just fine.
With each room and each item came conversations ... remember this? and what on earth?? With each room came laughter ... stocking hat selfies and pool noodle fights (still not sure why mom had a pool noodle). With each room came tears ... "Maybe this blazer and blouse for when the time comes." Room by room ... memories and moments were packed away. Room by room ... what was a home was becoming a house. Room by room ... we got along.
It has been said that the heart of the home is the kitchen, so it makes sense that this room was saved until the last. It makes sense that this was the most difficult room to pack away. Every dish, glass, pan, bowl, utensil, etc. was a reminder of some delicious memory that was cooked up in that kitchen. Mom's kitchen. So with teary eyes, we folded up embroidered tea-towels. We carefully packed up bowls that were once filled with creamy mashed potatoes and glass baking dishes that were used to bake countless number of cakes and casseroles. We wrapped up dinosaur jelly glasses, small glass dessert bowls that were once used as candles (yep, you read that right), and grapefruit spoons. And still, we got along.
So, mom, we did it. We did what needed to be done and we got along. Life is too short and stuff is just stuff. We must get along with each other in order to get along with life. And I'm so thankful to do life with those I get along with!