Monday, May 24, 2010

Bag Lady

The date is September 16, 1997. I've been married for 12-1/2 years. My brother is a long haul truck driver.

A long haul truck driver? What could that possibly have to do with anything?

Just imagine what it would be like to drive a truck from Washington to California and then back to Washington... week after week after week after week. I think it'd be lonely. I'd definitely want some good radio or books on tape. And in between I guess my mind would just wander around where-ever it wanted to go. I'm thinking this is what happened to my brother. On September 16, 1997, 12-1/2 years after I got married (he walked me down the aisle) he sat in a truck stop (I imagine he was in a truck stop) in Santa Rosa, California and wrote me this post card:

You can see he emphasized my initials on the address.

But was that enough? Not for my brother. The date is now September 29, 1997 and he writes from Corning, California:

Funny guy, right? Didn't even spell my last name correctly.

Monday, May 3, 2010

'Bout Time!

I decided it was about time for me to stop procrastinating. Perhaps I've been spurred on by Mark's insistence that we finally dive down to the bottom of the boxes that have been sitting in my basement for so long. We found the cardboard bottoms, bought some shelves and things are finding new homes. And yet, I still procrastinate.

It's a very deep hole and the only light you can see is if you lean backwards and look exactly straight up, but that's very hard on the neck. So I sit and stare at walls and do nothing. It's time to start climbing out.

Next month will be the one year anniversary of Harriett's death. I still can't believe she is gone. That could be part of it, maybe I am waiting for her to return. I decided to start going through her things today. Yes, her room is pretty much just as she left it. She actually had two rooms, here. One upstairs when we moved in and one on the main floor when she became too weak to do the stairs. She lost her balance on more than one occasion and it was shocking to find her on the floor in her bedroom or the bathroom. It must've been so hard to admit to herself she'd lost so much strength and health.

I started in her closet in the upstairs bedroom. I can't describe all the senses and emotions that were involved. Harriett was a clothes horse. She didn't spend all her money shopping for clothes but in her opinion, nothing was ever out of style, and she could pull it off. There were such cute dresses and I can remember her in most of them. She could look damn nice. Her body shape was so different than mine, what looked fantastic on her would look awful on me. There were dresses all the way from 3X to just "large." She got much smaller than "large," too, but by then she was living downstairs and there was no need to bring her larger wardrobe down.

When we left Utah and were downsizing some of my mother's things, Harriett took 2 of her purses that I was going to toss out. I'm sort of glad she did. They were very old purses that I am sure Mom had when I was just a child and it brought a smile to see them again. It brought a giggle to open them and find Harriett had never even removed Mom's stuff from them.

I haven't finished with the clothes yet. I just got most of them out of the closet - there are still two dressers to delve into as well as whatever is in the main floor bedroom. It became too hard. Am I wimp? Maybe I should turn on some music and drown out the voices and thoughts in my head. It just feels too personal to be handling and touching all her clothes.

I think a small part of me is looking for some sort of message from her, too. I'd love to know that she has found peace in her afterlife.