Friday, January 05, 2007

Just for You, Son!

If Mother Nature cooperates, my son will be home for our belated Christmas in two weeks. I am, as you may have noticed, a bit excited. Because HWDDD is in a bowling tournament that weekend, my son and I will be coming to Absarokee to spend the holiday without him. If all of us were coming, we would stay in a hotel, but since it's just the two of us, we are staying with my dad.

The room my son will be sleeping in used to be my bedroom. My dad remodeled our house in the 60's and foolishly let me choose my own carpet. My choice was an impossble-to-keep-up gold shag carpet, which is still in the room (trust me, the reason I brought up the carpet will become obvious once you see the "after" photos).

After I graduated and moved out, it became a guest room. When my mom was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis, it was necessary for her to have her own room, so we moved her in there. After she passed away from cancer (which I blame on the various treatments they used to try to keep her RA in check, but that is a rant for another post), the room became a catch-all for everything you can imagine and some things you cannot. My dad is a pack-rat and has a hard time throwing stuff away, especially if it has anything (and I do mean anything) to do with mom.

In anticipation of my son's visit, I decided to go through the room, cleaning and decluttering as I went. Since my brother was on night shifts and my dad was sleeping late, I had the house to myself. I started at around 9 am and finally finished about 5 pm. When I was done, the back of the pickup was completely full of junk. I saved all of the important mom memorabilia; there's no way I'd ever get rid of that. I did, however, throw away a lot of things I really don't want my family members knowing about.

Anyway, here is the end result. My son knows what the "before" picture looked like (I'm too ashamed to post a picture of that) and I want him to see the "after". Does your mom love you or what?

The bed was covered with cardboard boxes from my brother's new surround sound system. I disposed of the boxes and added a 4 inch thick foam mattress top. The "lovely" bedspread is circa 1970; it goes with the beautiful gold shag carpet.

Prior to the clean-a-thon, this entire area was covered with miscellaneous items including dozens of plastic coffee cans that my dad was saving for er, um, well, I dunno. There were boxes jammed full of empty ice cream containers, old books, old vcr tapes and various and sundry medical supplies that were used by my dear mother, may she rest in peace.

I had planned to bore you with more photos, but it took over an hour to upload the two that are here (did I mention lately how much I hate dial-up internet?), so you will just have to imagine how beautimous the gold shag *ack* carpet looks in the newly spiffed up room.

Anyway, if anyone other than my son has managed to read this far, congratulations on your tenacity (and my sympathy goes out to you for not having anything better to do) and son, not only did I spend 8 hours cleaning your room, I also spent well over an hour on this lame ass post. I love you bunches and I will see you in 12 days and 22 hours and 4 minutes, not that I'm counting or anything.


Cathy said...

Laurie - Very brave and loving of you to tackle that room. It's not just the physical labor but the emotional confrontations with the physical reminders of time's passage that makes it tough. Well done. Have a wonderful visit with your son.

Laurie said...

Cathy, You are so right. I didn't mention it in the blog because I didn't want to seem maudlin, but it was hard going through the rest of mom's things. I spent quite a bit of time crying, but also some time smiling and laughing. Thank you.

Squirl said...

First, I'm so glad you'll be seeing your son soon. I'm sure he'll appreciate all the work you did to clean the room and make it habitable for him.

Now, I want to say that it must've been so hard to clean out your mother's things. I wouldn't've really understood that until three months ago when my sibs and I all had to do that. One thing that was actually good, since we're a whole family of packrats, is that my brother was going to move at the end of the month. It would've been easy to hang onto things just because they were already there.

Of course, I'm glad that I'd just bought a house as there are things that I was able to keep that should be kept. I wanted her hope chest and a little Yamaha organ. There are pictures and books here now. Heck I put up a mirror in my office (to see when people are coming up behind me) that I find among my mother's things. Sheesh, she probably forgot she had it, but it now has sentimental value to me. :)

Anyway, I hope I didn't make your comments too maudlin. I'm sending you a hug, though. You could probably use one or two.

BTW, we will want to see more pictures when you get back to highspeed internet.

Anvilcloud said...

Let's hope he makes it home. I heard that they got another dumping and that animals are being covered and suffocated by it all.

Are you trying to upload huge pictures for it to take so long?

Laurie said...

Squirl, It was hard, I won't deny it. Seeing all of her hand written notes, dictionaries (the woman was a cross-word puzzle genius and she had a great love of dictionaries), bird and insect books, collections of old bottles, the fossils and artifacts, all of that really had me weeping.

But on the good side of things, I know how much my son will love the way it looks and feels. There's still plenty of "grams" in there and that will make him smile.

AC, I am trying to upload huge files. Normally I reduce the size, but I'm using my brother's computer and I can't find any software on it to make the file size smaller. Eventually the local telephone company will install wireless high speed internet and I will be able to use my laptop! They aren't moving very fast on the project, but we hope to have it in a week or so.

Squirl said...

That's interesting. My mother loved crossword puzzles. She had a number of dictionaries, too. :)

Mary said...

This is not a lame-ass post. You are a devoted Mom and had the passion. You took care of the old and brought in the new! You son will certainly appreciate what you have done. Kudos! My wish for you is to have him arrive "on time"! :)

Ur-spo said...

nothing like the thrill of mother hen welcoming home the chicks.
my mother (the dear) is just the same!

KC said...

Your love and devotion to your son is inspiring.

Thailand Gal said...

You have a very nice home, from what I can see here. Your son will feel good to be with you, even if he has to sleep on the floor. I wouldn't even think about that. :) Hope you have a great visit with your son.



Laurie said...

Squirl, It sounds as if our mom's were a lot alike. I'm so glad you have some of her things in your new home.

Mary, Thank you, for not thinking my post was lame and for your wish that my son arrive on time. Cross your fingers for us weather-wise, okay?

Ur-spo, I like your mother!

KC, As is yours.

Chani, I am sure we will have a blast, thank you and I promise to take lots of pictures to share.

Within Without said...


I agree with everyone else...there's nothing at all lame-ass about this post.

It is loving and nurturing of you to do what you did for your son with your old room, and to see in these comments that it wasn't the easiest thing for you to do.

They sounded like tears of remembrance and honouring more than tears of sorrow...

Regardless, tears are tears and they just are.

Thanks for this. It's beautiful.

Laurie said...

WW, you are a very sweet and compassionate man. Thank you for understanding.

Going through her things wasn’t easy. I was (and am still) quite emotional about it, but as you say, the tears that were shed were of honor and remembrance. She was a wonderful person and the world is a better place because she was in it.