|A large rainbow that appeared over my neighborhood this past spring|
I appreciate so much your kind comments about my mother's death. It is strengthening to have the support of friends. I just returned from spending a week and a half with my siblings cleaning out my mom's house in Tennessee. As an adult I have never lived in a house with a basement and often lamented that fact. I am rethinking that now:) Apparently, a basement is a place where you can just put all the things you don't know what to do with, and after 30 plus years in the same house.......let's just say my brothers became very good friends with the man who ran the dump! We didn't get completely finished, but we made a good dent in it. We each chose some things to keep (and I am now trying to fit my treasures into my house), and the rest will go into an estate sale.
We coped emotionally because the work just kept driving us forward. We didn't have much time for meditation. We boxed up the photos and decided that maybe next summer we will get together to go through them - there was no way we would have been able to do them this time. My two brothers and my sister and I all get along very well, so while the task was difficult, the time spent together was comforting and relatively stress-free (I just realized I made a pun;) We really didn't want anyone else to help -- it was a job that needed to be "just us." We got to spend some good time with my dad and his wife as well, taking him dinner three different times.
There were some fun things. My brothers and I stayed up late one night laughing at old photos: all I can say is the 1970s and 1980s were not kind, style-wise...... My sister and I found our wedding dresses and prom dresses (all made by my mom). Lots of things we had forgotten about. But a lot of my mom's possessions (her "nice things") were acquired in the last 25 years, after we were all grown and out of the house. The grandkids associated all the nice things with her, but my siblings and I remember instead the naugahide couch that we used for building forts and for sliding down the stairs on the cushions and things like that. (For the record, I totally understand waiting until the kids are grown before having nice things because kids break things;)
There were other fun things. Over the weekend I spent the night with two of my high school friends, and we had a wonderful time staying up til three in the morning reminiscing and catching up. Also, another friend and her husband came and took me for dinner one night, and a fourth friend came by one afternoon and we spent about an hour catching up.
I thought I would have a little more downtime for memories and driving around significant places, but it was really too busy. I did spend one night alone in mom's house (I flew to Tennessee, but my husband drove in the next week so he could pack my stuff up in a trailer and we could haul it back to Texas). That night it was hard to go to sleep -- very, very seldom in my life have I spent the night in a house by myself:) But as I lay there thinking about life now and life after death, I realized that the things that are the most solid, and most central, and most real, are God's truths. When life's hard or sad or happy times come round, those truths will hold. Sometimes Confessions say it best. Here is Question 1 from the Heidelberg Catechism (1563):
That I, with body and soul, both in life and in death, am not my own, but belong to my faithful Savior Jesus Christ, who with His precious blood has fully satisfied for all my sins, and redeemed me from all the power of the devil; and so preserves me, that without the will of my Father in heaven not a hair can fall from my head; yea, that all things must work together for my salvation. Wherefore, by His Holy Spirit, He also assures me of eternal life, and makes me heartily willing and ready henceforth to live unto Him.
Also, the words of Paul:
"For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain." - Philippians 1:21 (KJV)