Cleaning Up For Your Children


Rose In Memory of His Father

I just returned from helping a friend who needed to clear his parents home of fifty years of accumulated things.    It was not anything that could be done in two months.  When I first flew up, my plans were to stay for a month but I changed my mind.

People do not realize as they live their lives each day that something may or can happen to them tomorrow.  We all are guilty of keeping too many things that are not needed in our home.  On top of that, may people will not let go of things and rent storage to put them in.

His father was a doctor and had retired.  When he did, he bought home everything even the table he used to examine people.  He bought home drugs,  medical records and anything else that was there.  Even the posters that were on his walls.  I wonder if it ever occurred to him to just throw away most of the things.  We had to contact a group to disposes of medicines the proper way.  Now, my friend will have to jump through hoops just trying to do the proper thing about getting rid of the medical records.  His dad was not doing well mentally but no one understood that until his mother had a stroke.

His mother sewed.  She did brilliant embroidery work and had so many extra supplies  from years and years ago.  I know because she still had thread on wooden spools.  She had boxes and boxes of buttons, old sewing needles, yarn, knitting needles and fabric.  You name it and she had it.  She loved making pretty things but when her hands started to hurt from arthritis, she had to give it up.

What does keeping all of these things matter?  It matters a lot when someone else has to clean it out of a home.  One thing is certain, I came home with a new view on how I will leave my home to my children once I am gone.  It isn’t fair to expect our children to come behind us to clean up our mess.  A mess that we just didn’t take the time to clean up or one that we were not thinking was even there.  Sometimes, I feel that people do not realize that when they  put a receipt for something in a drawer that unless they are diligent in cleaning out their drawers and closets often, that receipt may be there 30 years later.  We found receipts from fifty years ago.

My friend feels overwhelmed.  He felt that way while I was there.  Before his father died, we had some  fun even in the middle of trying to make sense of all that was in the home.  Afterward, the fun stopped as he was grieving.  Not only was he grieving but he was angry.  I understand because that it is one of the  first steps of grief.  He didn’t understand.  When I would try to talk to him about it, he wasn’t interested.  It is hard to watch a person grieve knowing that there is nothing anyone can do.  That is a journey that a person has to make alone in life.  Sure good friends can reach out to them and try to give comfort but in the end, they will have to walk though that time alone.  We all do.  I have made that journey many times in my life.

In the mean time, his mom is still in a nursing home.  They are not treating her well.  Since she is in another state where is brother lives, it is hard for him to get there to see her as much as he would like.  He worries about her.  So, in the middle of grieving for his father, worrying about his mother, not being employed at the time, he still has to clean out this house by himself.  He is angry, confused, dazed and dismayed at what to do with everything.  He doesn’t have time to sell a lot of things since he needs to be looking for a job.  I know what he is going though since I was there.  It is like trying to reach the top of a mountain with branches of trees hitting you in the face with every step.    My heart goes out to my friend.  I would not wish this on anyone.

So, if your home is filled with paperwork that isn’t necessary, get rid of it.  If you have old clothes give them away.  Thin out the number of dishes you have in your kitchen.  When we reach a certain age, we do not entertain like we once did.  Do you really need all of those pots and pans in the kitchen?  When was the last time you cleaned out your closets, drawers or even the pantry?

Do your family a huge favor and save them from having to clean up after you when you are gone.  We never know when that day will come.  I plan to start with my project of cleaning out my home this week.  I would not like to  think of my children here in my home being unhappy when if I had planned like I should have, they would have little to do.  Burying your parents is bad enough.

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People who will always be young.


I was thinking about getting older one day this week when it occurred to me that there are many people who will always be young.  Why?  Because they died young.  I had a dear friend who died at forty as I blogged about earlier this year.

Let’s take a short journey of some famous people who will never get old.  We will never see them age.  They will always be young in our eyes.  It is kind of an interesting thought to me.

After writing this, my first thought was that I will never complain about getting older again.  Thankfully, I will grow old gracefully and will be able to enjoy my grandchildren.  My wish is that these people could have lived a long life too.

Thanks to all of them for the memories.  They will forever be remembered.

Bruce Lee

Buddy Holly

Jim Morrison

Janis Joplin

Jane Mansifield

Anna Nicole Smith

Health Ledger

Marilyn Monroe

John Candy

John Belushi

Jimi Hendrix

James Dean

Elvis

Chris Farley

Losing A Dear Friend


What a shame that I lost this dear friend without knowing.  It is my fault that we had not stayed in touch.  He called me every evening because he was lonesome.  I had a two year old grand daughter that I was raising and I didn’t have time for those nightly chats.  When I changed my phone number, I failed to tell him.  I kept thinking that I would but time got by me.

Now, I am filled with deep sorrow because I could have taken the time but I didn’t.

Do not do that to the people you love.  You may never get a chance to say goodbye.  I might not have been able to say good-bye no matter as I do not know what happened.

He will not miss me but I sure will miss him.  He and I had been friends since high school.  We have a reunion coming up this month and it will be so sad for me, that he will not be there.

Buck baby, I loved you so much.  You brought a lot of joy into my life with your jokes and kidding.  Thank you for all of the wonderful memories.

The Living Go On Living


When someone we loved dies, what do we do?  There isn’t much we can do.  We can offer comfort to the family or lean a hand any way that we can.  Other than that, all we can do is keep on living.

Death never changes.  Anytime that we lose someone we love, we hurt.  The pain is so bad.  Our hearts hurt.  We cry and cry because our emotions can not conceive the loss.  We have to realize that we will never see or speak to that person again in our entire life.  The main thing to remember when we lose someone to death is what we all should be doing in life.  What we should do each day.  Let the people we love know how much.  Not just by using words.  Words are cheap.  We need to do things to show them.  As the saying goes, we are our actions.  Or maybe that was actions speaks louder than words.

I lost a dear, dear friend last week.  He died in a car wreck.  Looking back, I see how that we always showed each other how much we cared.  He was a young man about my son’s age.  He always came by to visit me after growing up.  He would have a photo of his son or something.  Sometimes, he just needed to talk.  Sometimes, he just wanted to visit.  He was going though a divorce and I just listened.  I could have spoken up to say what I thought.  However, when people are having a hard time in life, it’s hard to listen to what others have to say.  The same thoughts keep spinning inside their brains.  So, the best thing is to just listen.  Let them know that you care enough about them to just be there for them day or night.

Life can be shorter than we plan.  We all plan to grow old and some do.  Others are not so blessed and die young.  My friend was only forty.  He had everything to live for in life.  He had a four-year old son that was the light of his life.  His son will miss the joy of growing up with a wonderful dad.

Just remember that we never know what tomorrow will bring.  Reach out to those you love.  Let them know how much they mean to you.  I am glad that I did.

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