Because I inherited the house of my Dad which he built for my Mom -- for which I am ever so grateful -- I also inherited everything in it. Given that both my parents "went" abruptly and in a span of just 1 1/2 years, there were and still are so many of their things in the house.
When Dad died, Mom and I sort of just left his things the way they were. It was probably our way of coping. His favorite jacket swung over on his chair, his typewriter on the table with an unfinished article. It probably took us a year to finally move those things. Most of his clothes were packed but never really given away. When my Mom died 18 months later, I decided to do the same. In fact, I only got to really sort through her things last year.
Part of my not wanting to touch their things involved the feeling of guilt. I felt that giving away their things meant me forgetting them and removing them from the memories of our home.
Slowly, I realized that I had would have to face the inevitable. With a growing family, I would need more and more space in the house for newer things. I started clearing things out this year, muttering under my breath as if talking to Mom and Dad that this was in no way a sign that I was trying to get rid of memories of them. I was filled with peace.
Today I decided to continue cleaning up. I stumbled across a wooden box. I opened it and saw that they were a bunch of letters of my Mom to my Dad. So I read them, knowing fully that I would end up crying. Just seeing the handwriting of my Mom made me feel so close to her. It was such a familiar feeling seeing her strokes.
Time changes people. Circumstance as well. I may have changed everything between them when I came into this world. They were letters written when they weren't married yet. And they were so full of love and passion -- something I never quite imagined existed when they were both still alive.
I got to know them a little bit more again. And that craving to be with them intensified all the more.
Little by little I will explore more corners of our house and discover more and more things that made it a home over the years.
With tears shed over memories stumbled upon, a heart is made warm.