Monday, April 17, 2017

It's a Never-Ending Battle of Papers, Pictures, Recordings, and Stuff

This last week, I made a trek to a family members house who we paid to keep the remainder of my mom's stuff for the past year since her passing as we were so compressed for time that week of her funeral that we just couldn't get the last items distributed.

I scheduled this months ago talking with everyone in the family to make sure they could be there and the day before we were to finish distributing it, one sister pulled out due to family things. She lives in a different state and doesn't always answer her phone. I asked if we could just skype or facetime her so we could get it done. We didn't get a reply in time.

My brothers just want to be done with it all. I personally know I will probably never be done with it all but I am always the one to force everyone else to look at it. I wanted at least the distribution portion over to get at least ONE thing off my "to do" list where my mothers stuff is concerned.  

I thought I had sorted most of the papers, newspapers, pictures and documents and was thinking I was seeing an end to the nightmare until I went to my sisters. I drove over 6 hours that day as I had to return some things in another town and give a sister a ride to another town as well, so the driving was not the best. What stressed me beyond limits, was to find that my mind had blocked out all the cassettes and reel to reel recordings she had along with another 10 boxes of papers.

We have done most of the slides though we did find a few boxes that need to be sorted and scanned, the majority of stuff is things that will just take time. I have asked over and over for my family to help listen to the tapes. I begged my mom to listen to one tape a day before her passing. Nope. I sometimes want to have a huge bonfire and burn it all but she truly kept some treasures and I know that I will be blessed for saving the wonderful history of her life, our family history and the extended family histories.

I ended up being at my sisters for hours and she cleaned out one box of items that we sorted at my mom's while cleaning up that was mostly her stuff. Another sister and I went through a box and a half of sheet music. I went up thinking we were going to distribute the rest of the stored items.

We didn't distribute one item that day. We went through a box of a few things from her bathroom. I know there were some other boxes from her bathroom but those were no where to be found and at least two of the boxes had water damage and had mold so we had to get rid of those and I worry if two boxes got water damage, I wonder about those we didn't open or about even storing them where they could get wet. We got rid of NONE of the "keep" stuff distributing nothing and it wasn't until I thought about it later driving home alone at 4 a.m. as to what is most likely the reason .

The stuff that is left was from my mothers closets and her mask collection and her antique dolls. I have a sister that sees herself as "the mom" of the family and the items that are left are "mom's" personal stuff. Truly, closets have the most personal stuff about a person. The clothes we wear, shoes, purses, treasures etc. The dolls are the babies and my mother has always had a "thing" for dolls. I truly think there are a few of my siblings that aren't ready to "let go" of it all. None want to deal with her "stuff" but some can't let it go.

I was so frustrated leaving that I cried. I have by far dealt with more of my mom's stuff time wise. My oldest brother has dealt with my mom more and her financial situations but I have always had to force the family into cleaning out her houses, closets, cars etc. I hate being the person that people avoid. Some because they don't want to deal with the stuff and others because they can't deal with her stuff.

Basically, I drove those long hours to sort some sheet music and I laughed and cried as I sorted because I was so frustrated that we can't be done with anything as some can't seem to let go and I can't be through with anything because most won't help due to being busy or being overwhelmed by the sheer amount of stuff. However, the piles and stuff is getting less and less but they still can't seem to deal with it in its many forms.

I keep debating over the stress / value factor and thought maybe I would have a large bonfire and just tell them all I burned it. I wondered what their reactions would be but then I could probably guess most accurately. I have gotten advice from a few friends and most say to just really burn it. They said to ask if anyone is willing to take it and do it and if not, really do have a large bonfire and burn it.

As I went through the music, there were so many that were giving me messages. I was singing along at the beginning to one of the songs of sheet music and found the one about "I saw you singing" which was followed by the "I'm Sorry I Made you Cry" one. I had been crying dealing with having driven all that way and then not being able to take one thing off my list but fill two cars full to take back to my house to work on alone again!

Next came a few songs about a "mother and her love" and several "Rainbow" songs. There was my mothers last purse and her checkbook gets pulled out and the top check was 111 and the one under it was 1111. I just had one thing after another reminding me of my mother that day and my goal was to have all her stuff distributed by the anniversary of her death this week.

Now, my oldest brother is leaving for a mission for 18 months or more and by the time he gets back, I figure another will be gone doing the same. I have no idea when we will all be together again. I truly just wanted it dealt with. I guess that is an issue with large families, there are just so many different personalities to deal with and not everyone deals with mourning in the same way.

All I can do is what I can do and I guess that is all they can do as well. I thought I would end with my cute Princess singing this favorite that I found in her music box as well. Que Sera, Sera! Have a Blessed Day! 

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