The auctioneer came, packed up, and took away the contents of Mom's house. Yes, I know it's been over a year since Mom moved into assisted living. I've been emotionally unable to get this task done.
Oh, bit by bit I have dispersed some of Mom's possessions, but the bulk of it all has remained, sitting in a cold dark house. The children's books went to the school library. Craft supplies were sent to a group. The pots and pans went to a young friend who just moved into her first apartment. Clothing went to a shelter, linens went to a sick friend. Mom's basket collection will become gift baskets, maybe already carrying a turkey dinner to someone in town. One rocking chair went to a grandson. The flatware went on eBay.
There are a few odd collections left, items that I'm not sure what to do with, things the auctioneer didn't think he could sell.
It was hard, watching the furniture move onto the truck. The old marble-top bureau that I had used all throughout my childhood. I had watched myself grow-up in that mirror. I had dusted every curve and groove of that bureau, my hands knew the feel of every carving. I keep reminding myself, it's just stuff. Clinging to it will not heal Mom, it will not make her any more able. But, this truck of furniture will now become a liquid asset, to allow her to stay at the assisted living residence for a few more months.
One of my sons came to be with me while the auctioneer and his team packed the truck. There was nothing for him to do. We both just stood around with our hands in our pockets, watching. But to have him there with me, gave me the strength to be there.
Somehow it all still feels wrong... Mom's still alive. But she has no idea what I'm doing. She has no idea what I've done with her house and her collections, her furniture and her books.