Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Beaten Down, Not Abandoned

Gone, Missing
     To say this past weekend was a rough one would be a gross understatement, though, it still didn’t register on the hands-down-worst-ever Richter scale for our family crises, and for that, I really am eternally grateful.  On Friday, I went over to my mom’s house while Vivi was napping (since her mom is working from home), and felt really sad, surprised, and disappointed at what I found. 
     I entered the living room and the couch was gone.  It wasn’t one that had been in the family for ages, but it had been a main gathering place at my mom’s aside from the dining room table which I looked up and noticed was also missing.  No one had mentioned to me that the furniture my mom doesn’t intend to keep had already been put on Craigslist, and much of it had already been purchased and picked up before Saturday's scheduled estate sale. 

Memories For Sale    

     Some familiar household decorations, picture frames, handcrafted pieces of religious art, along with various tchotchkes on the built-in shelves in the living room were arranged by price values of $5 and below.  It made me recall the twinge of sadness and regret I felt when my grandma handed me a picture frame to put a 25 cent sticker on for her garage sale many years before.  I don't know if she realized that her wedding invitation was what was in the frame. 
     There was one section of paperback and hardcover books, a table of clothes for a boy baby/toddler, a table of children’s picture books which my parents had read to us when we were little.  (My mom had taken out the ones that were our favorites and saved them.  I would have been really devastated if she’d given away one of the few nostalgic, still comforting pieces of my childhood that remains.)  I already have a small collection of books from our youth at our place, because I bring them with me when I nanny or work at school and share them with the kids in my life. 

The Show Must Go On
     Hanging on a rack in the sunroom were some of my youngest sister Theresa’s many costumes from quite a few dance performances over the years.  Wow!  I’ve been to so many of her recitals, dress rehearsals, Musical Revues, and performances. I miss seeing her dance now that she’s all the way up at The Ohio University.  Truth be told, I miss seeing her period. 
     On the windowsill was a line-up of Disney movies, sing-alongs, and other classic musicals and such on VHS tapes.  When Kevin and I met, he had been woefully deprived of two essential staples of my childhood: Disney movies and Broadway musicals.  Naturally, that had to be remedied sooner than later so he wouldn’t find it quite so odd when my mom, sisters, and I would break into some Disney or Broadway tune at the dinner table.

“The Bon-Ton Incident” 

     There was a rack of shoes and a smattering of handbags set out for $3.  I smiled briefly remembering a particular incident that occurred while I was wearing one small brown backpack I used for a number of years as a purse.  While weighted down with quite a few things in the mini backpack, I’d spun around quickly to tell Kevin I was going to the restroom and accidentally hit my then boyfriend/now husband where it counts. 
     I turned around to see him doubled over on a chair in the furniture section of the Bon-Ton department store and genuinely had no clue that I had unwittingly caused a full-on frontal attack on the family jewels.  I asked him what his problem was.  When he was able to speak again, he told me what happened and eventually was able to laugh about it.  He still, some ten or so years later refers to that unfortunate event as “The Bon-Ton Incident” and cringes whenever he’s spotted that backpack or someone’s made mention of that story.    
Hard-hitting Reality Bites

     It hit me hard this weekend (pun-intended) that we’ve already celebrated our last Thanksgiving and Christmas together in the one house still in the family where we have holiday memories that include my dad (who was only in his 50s when he passed away in 2009) and my grandmother, who, praise God, was eventually kicked out of hospice and is still living.  I cried quite a bit on Saturday, some of it at Little Sisters of the Poor, where my grandmother now lives. 
     I returned to the Chapel after Mass to pray for a while after taking Grandma down to her room and visiting briefly.  A tremendous grief and sense of loss came over me.  Once our brother John had finished his hour of prayer before the Blessed Sacrament and left, I had the chapel all to myself.  I burst into tears and sobbed for most of the next hour.  I realize that much of this sense of loss is coming from the many moves we made over the years, the major changes I despised because they were forced upon me, and the sadness that my mom will no longer have a place that’s big enough for my sisters, our spouses, our friends, and loved ones to gather together for a big party or a holiday meal. 

No More Holidays Inn
     We’ve spent our last Thanksgiving and Christmas in the one place where all of us were always welcome, felt at home, and had some special memories.  I feel rather lost, as if I don’t have a home base anymore.  For a number of years, my home base was my grandmother’s house, because we’d travel there every summer regardless of what state we lived in that year.  When my grandmother moved down here, my uncle and his wife bought it from her.  They sold that house when they had to move to Boston, so it’s no longer in the family, either. 
     Yes, Kevin and I have lived in our apartment since the month after we were married, for seven and a half years now, but it doesn’t hold as many memories and history as other places we’ve lived.  We’ve never had everyone over to celebrate a major holiday or even all gather for dinner.  Our place still needs a lot of work and seems like it will never get finished.  This was cause for additional tears and grief this past weekend. 
     I’ve drifted apart from my biological family in many ways, but this weekend brought that fact front and center.  It seems right now that many aspects of our lives are up in the air, and Kevin and I aren’t quite sure what we’re to do next in many areas, but we’re clear we want most to live out God’s will for us.  Fortunately, through the grace of God and some serious prayer cover, we can both agree on this most essential thing. 

Our Eternal Sanctuary

     Lord, thank You for a faith in You that has grown and expanded, and a husband who sees and appreciates the value of putting our lives in Your Hands.  Please help us keep focused on You, and remember that our goal is to help each other grow in holiness and get to Heaven, our one true, never-changing, always filled with love home. Amen.        
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...