Sometimes in life there are moments that are truly indescribable. This past weekend had many of those for me. It was the first time I was back at the family compound since both Mom and Dad died. Driving up the driveway I could feel the emotions starting from the pit of my stomach, holding in my throat then finally making it out of my eyes and running down my cheeks. There are some places you see that after they owners have died, that place just loses its soul. It looks sad and lonely. It wasn’t like that at the family compound.
It was extraordinarily strange to be there when they were not in residence. Before I even got out of the car I was crying. After taking a moment to sob, I stepped out of the car, and I could feel them. They were everywhere. They were in the air, in the crickets, in the sound of the frogs, in the grass as I walked to the front door.
And stepping in the house was an experience in itself. I remember my dad talking about how he went in it was like Mom gave him a huge hug. I had not felt it until I stepped through the door. And it was as if both rushed over to embrace me. I took a moment to look around, feel them, have all the wonderful memories that flooded my mind and heart.
And that night I slept so good, knowing they were there with me, watching over.
My sister arrived the next morning and the next two days were spent going through Mom and Dad’s things with so much love. Who else would they want sorting through, deciding who should have what? Who else would they want to have laugh and talk about all the memories? I felt as if they were delighted to know that we loved most of their things as much as they did. I felt that they were pleased at the legacy.
The hardest part was Dad’s office. And my sister and I both cried as we saw all his work, accomplishments, degrees and records. We loved him so. And then his workshop, which was as sacred as his office. So many tools and memories of him making this or fixing that. I will forever thnk of him when I smell sawdust.
It was a bittersweet joy. Ne we all must experience at one time or another.. going through the belongings of parents and loved ones. A few items we wondered where they came from and what was the history. Mom and dad were so private that we would never be allowed to search through when they were alive. And we wanted so bad to call them and ask what they story was with this piece of that item.
But maybe in a way it is better to not know. Our parents and people and have lives long before we come along. And maybe those items with unknown stories are a good reminder of that. And to always ask questions and hear stories when you can.