Down Came the Rain and Washed the Cobwebs Out

6 08 2014

I have, for years, begged my mother to throw away some of the “junk” she has been storing, “in case she might need it.”

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Well, a week ago, we came home from a family wedding to find that, while we were gone, there had been a deluge or two of epic proportions in south central Pennsylvania and there was an indoor pool where my mother’s family room used to be.

Having, as a child, lost all her family possessions – twice – in house fires, Mom grew up to be a “collector” of all kinds of stuff.  Much of it was in the flooded area of her home. Had it been my house, I would, I assure you, still be sitting on a step ladder, weeping.

My mother, who turned eighty-four in March, is, however, a very different animal.

Had I not happened by to catch her toting a soaking wet cardboard box up the steps, she would have not even told me about the mess that was her basement. There she was: clearing out boxes of ancient household records, carpet remnants, the detritus of her three grown children’s toy boxes . . .

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She was handling it with energy and resignation – no crying.

I was able to convince her to let me Shop-Vac up some of the water and remove the drenched area rugs only because it would make me feel better to help.

When the rains forced my mom to do what I could not convince her to do, I felt relieved. I also felt guilty.  I never understood why it was hard for her to let go of things – things I knew were worthless.

Then I felt stupid.   What is trivial to one is treasure to another. If she wants to keep something because it comforts her or makes her happy, it’s valuable. The only thing of genuine value to me in that house –  the house I grew up in –  is her.

Protect your valuables, Friends.  The real ones are irreplaceable.

 

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3 responses

6 08 2014
MARIA ETTEL

PAULA–THANK YOU FOR SHARING YOUR EPIPHANY.
YOUR COMPASSIONATE UNDERSTANDING OF MILLIE’S VALUES, IS BEAUTIFUL
JUST NOW, THIS IS VERY REAL TO ME.
LOVE FROM MY HEART–MARIA XO XO XO XO

7 08 2014
scorchedeyebrowstudio

My Dear Maria, thank you for so generously commenting on this post. If anything I post brings light to you, especially at such a painful time, it lifts me. Love to your heart right back from mine.

29 08 2014
Mom

Oh man! I would cry (for my stuff!)

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