Assimilation Time

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My siblings and I recently cleared our mother’s one bedroom unit. She was not a hoarder, however, she was from a generation who grew up during and immediately following the Great Depression. Waste was an anathema to her.

It was important to us to rehome things thoughtfully and not to just mindlessly donate, or worse still, dump large quantities of her possessions.

In order to consider individual items we brought most things to our homes and have spent time carefully and lovingly sorting Mum’s personal and household items.

Of course, I did not want or need to keep everything as I have a home containing my own things. Nor did I want to create a shrine to my mother. She would have wanted things to go to people who could use them and much of our energy has been spent in identifying where they could be used and/or appreciated. Some has been donated and some passed on to other family members.

I wanted honour her memory by using the items that I kept and they have been assimilated into my household.

Here are a couple of examples.

I am not sure of the age or origin of this delicate tablecloth and it is beginning to show signs of wear in places. It will not last forever but I will use and cherish it.

Here it is on the table.

A completely different item is this hand beater. It is over 60 years old and has been used consistently during that time. I also owned a similar but somewhat newer version – only just over 40 years old which was not as good so I have upgraded.

I also have books, jewellery, scarves, ramekins, crockery, vases and linen. They are all appreciated, cherished and most of all, will be used.

Dealing with the possessions of a loved one can be difficult but it is worthwhile to think carefully about the process to get the best result for your own unique circumstances.

Returned – Finally

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In my post on 24th March I mentioned that my mother was quite ill.

Unfortunately, her diagnosis was terminal and the decline was rapid. Mum died at the end of April and we are grateful that she did not suffer a long, drawn-out death.

The void which has been left is indescribable and some days I feel completely lost.

However, life does go on and I will continue to share my thoughts, ideas, tips and suggestions with you all.

I was extraordinarily lucky to have a close and loving relationship with my mother for many years. I know that not everyone has this opportunity for a variety of reasons.

Much of my knowledge and ideas have come to me by being handed down through the generations from my mother and grandmothers.

So, this blog honours those women in my family who have come before me.

Farewell, Mum. Thank you for everything. I will love you always.

Another Farewell

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Excuse my absence but it has been a pretty tough few weeks.  Just 2 weeks after Mr Kitty’s death we had to make the heartbreaking decision to say goodbye to our much-loved dog, Harvey.  He had been a part of the family for almost 15 years.

We had known for a couple of years that the day would come when we would have to make a decision to alleviate his suffering.  When we came back from our holiday about a month ago, it was obvious that it would be cruel to prolong his life for much longer.  His crippling arthritis  had reduced his mobility to almost zero as well as heart failure.

Our kind and compassionate vet came to our home and Harvey was surrounded by those of us who loved him as he gently went to sleep for the last time.

We have wonderful memories of our special boy.  Here are a couple of the last photos I took of him on Thursday morning.

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Vale Mr K

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Today has been a sad day as our adopted cat, Mr Kitty, died during the night.  He was 16, had lived a good life and was much loved by many.

He had become somewhat frail over the past 12 months but here are a couple of photos of him from a few years ago.

He was very placid and tolerant and loved nothing more than welcoming guests to our home.

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Goodbye to a beautiful boy.

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On Hold

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I had several ideas for blog posts to write this evening but all of that has been put on hold.

Just a couple of hours ago I learned of the sudden and unexpected death of a friend.  I first met Carol through an internet forum 9 years ago.  I then met her in real life on a couple of occasions and we have continued our contact through various channels.  She was an avid reader of this blog and her comments were always considered and thoughtful.

To a kind and gracious lady.  Farewell, Carol and rest in peace.

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Real Life

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I apologise for the absence this week and lack of response to your comments.

Just like real-life this blog is filled with celebrations, sadness, routines and the unexpected.

2015-10-03 01My mother-in-law passed away at the beginning of the week and my mind has not been anywhere near my blog.  Due to family circumstances we will have a memorial service next month so we have not had a funeral to attend but there have been many other details to arrange.  This will continue to be the case over the next few weeks but hopefully not to the extent of the past few days.

I am looking forward to reading your previous comments and responding and hope that you will bear with me during this time.

The Emotional Stuff

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Firstly, I would like to say thank to all of you who have sent your caring thoughts and healing wishes for my mother.  She continues to improve and will be home again in no time.

Tonight I want to share some words from my friend, Patty.  She posted this on Facebook today and I immediately thought that it may be useful to those of you who are struggling with the loss of a parent and the possessions that are left behind.  Dealing with them can be a challenging and time-consuming process.

Some of us are struggling with our elderly parents; in our care, in their death; in recent passing. My garage downstairs is full of my parents’ lives, and every time I go to unpack it, and sort it, I am taken back to my childhood and the re-living of this emotion is draining and emotionally exhausting. As much as we loved our parents, there’s a lot of “stuff” to be dealt with, in a practical way.

I hope this might help you? The Amen is complimentary.  Light a candle, and say this out loud. Tears are optional. It’s all release. No rules.

Parents Prayer

To my parents, grandparents, and my earthly ancestors who came before me, thank you.
Thank you for your love and guiding wisdom.
Thank you for loving me, every day; in every way.
Thank you for all of your hard work, your concern, and your complete acceptance of me and my spirit.
Thank you for your precious gift of life and love.
It is received with gratitude.
Thank you for our family, for all of the good times, for your precious memories.
I am now able to live my own adult life, and walk with my face towards the sun.
I shall swing my arms with happiness and freedom, knowing that this is what you want me to do.
Mum and dad, I release you, with love. Thank you for everything.
I love you all, forever.
I will remember you with respect and gratitude. Thank you.
I release you all, back to the universe. I release you all; back to the earth and beyond. Thank you.
It is so.

Amen.

2015-06-22 01Remember, it is the memories that are important and will sustain you.  The stuff is a separate issue.

Death and Destruction

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No, it was not Nepal, Fiji or any of the other natural disasters that have happened all around the globe.  This was in our own little corner of south-east Queensland.

For a couple of hours last Friday a small area, including where I live was hit by torrential rain and significant flooding.  5 people lost their lives as they tried to drive through flooded roads.  Cars were washed away, people were stranded and public transport was disrupted.  Our road was almost impassable in places due to driveways that had washed away leaving large rocks and piles of gravel on the road.

2015-05-05 01A retaining wall collapsed and at least one residence was inundated with mud and water that cascaded down the mountain with unprecedented speed and force.  The lake which forms in our backyard formed and reached capacity within 2 hours whereas it usually takes a couple of days of steady rain to fill.  The force of the water moved large concrete blocks several metres and washed our recycle bin from its regular position.

The next morning was perfect – blue sky and not a breath of wind.  So strange.

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Wordless Wednesday

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Not quite wordless and not my words or photo but worth sharing.  Photo is courtesy of Amnesty International and the words are from a Facebook post of a friend.

2015-04-29 01“It has been a terribly sad time recently, with the Bali executions, the deaths of the migrants in the sea off Italy, the massive death toll in Nepal, the death of young Freddy Gray in Baltimore whilst in the custody of the Baltimore police, etc, etc. I have prayed for them all.

I have also taken time today to think of the families, friends, neighbours of the 35 innocent men, women and children who were massacred on 28th/29th April in 1996 in Tasmania, by Martin Bryant who will end his days in prison, as he should.

Life is too short. Live it well. Humankind should be both: human and kind.”

Tragedy

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Today we hear of another life snuffed out.

Candles

Luke Batty died at his father’s hand.  He joins Darcey Freeman who was thrown to her death from the Westgate Bridge 5 years ago.  Daniel Morcombe was snatched from his family a little over 10 years ago and now his parents are facing all of the memories as his alleged killer stands trial.

My heart goes out to the victims and their families.  I know there are others but these 3 are in my mind today.

Rest in peace.