Saturday, November 01, 2008

Far, Far Away and Back

I am home again. I now have a cold, a weak voice, am bone tired and have more worries than I can handle. My father is dead.

I was going to journal it all, here. But now that I am sitting here at the keyboard, I would rather write about anything BUT. I will say that filling a 40 cubic yard dumpster with the packrat accumulation of 86 years is not a task I would wish on MY children.

My husband and I were joined by a church going man named Daniel who offered to help us in exchange for anything we didn't want to keep. Daniel was a gift from God, I think. I am not religious, but I am spiritual and I can't explain his entry in my world any other way. He just appeared. He quietly helped my husband and I as we worked in cold, wet weather to collect, sort, bag and haul so much stuff. We worked all day and never had a break, even for lunch.

We took carloads of food to the local food pantry including almost 20 two pound cans of coffee and 10 bottles of laundry detergent, 20 pounds of bagged rice and two huge boxes of boxed food. All the usable kitchen goods. Small appliances. Sewing machine. Irons. Shoes. Clothes. Bedding. Tools. Furniture. Everything else went into the dumpster.

I'm sure my father's neighbors and friends who watched us dismantle my father's home, on the days after his death were disgusted and repelled. But do not judge if you haven't walked that same path. If you lived 812 miles from this house, wouldn't you want it empty? And it does now belong to me. And I must now insure and protect it.

One evening as I washed our filthy clothing, the sump pump backed up and my husband and I sat there, realizing for the first time, that this house and any of it's problems, were now OUR problems. We both we so very tired, exhausted, and were faced with getting the pump to work and then worrying about it not working with us so far away. I think this is when we hit rock bottom.

I have not had time to grieve for my father. It will come, in it's time.

Right now I have banks, bills, insurance, taxes and the attorney to think about. Four large bags of papers to sort through. My own house to deal with now that I have returned to it, 8 days later. My own refrigerator to clean out, as I cleaned his out. More garbage bags to fill and carry out.

I feel empty. Home again.

My show is doing well, and if I ever get my price list and guest book to the gallery, I may have a sale and some comments. See it at


Exuberantcolor/Wanda S Hanson said...

I am sorry for your loss. I agree the packrat syndrome is nothing most of us want to deal with. I helped clean out my ex-husband's house and I vowed I won't leave all of that for my children too.

I hope you can find some peace.

Terry Grant said...

This is a sad task that I, too have performed. Nothing else is quite so final, draining and emotionally and physically exhausting. Nothing is simple. Living and dying are far too complicated and laden. My heart is with you.

Take care.

gema said...

Wow J, what a stretch! Please accept my condolences on your Dad's passing. Take each day as it comes, 1 day at a time. Be gentle with yourself. I wish you PEACE.

Deborah Boschert said...

Oh Joanne. I am so sorry. I am wishing you moments of joy and peace in each day. I know they must seem few and far between.

dee said...

So Sorry Joanne. This is a task that I wouldn't wish on anyone. I wish you peace.

kathy said...

I'm very sorry for you and your family. Grieving will come and so will some peace. Baby steps.

MariMo said...

So sorry - our hearts go out to you and your family.
Hugs from Hattersheim/Germany