Sunday, January 10, 2010

The things which have kept me from blogging

As I hinted in a previous post, the loss of my mother has left me a bit at a loss for words while I process the experience of her death and seek some perspective on her life and suffering. But that is not all that keeps me from writing.  The loss of a close family member brings on a lot of strange and unexpected (for one as inexperienced as me anyway) yet necessary activity. There were phone calls to be made, forms to fill out, accounts to be closed, an apartment to empty and clean, personal possessions to distribute in the process, and on top of all that, room had to be found in my crowded little house for the portion of her belongings that will remain with me. I quickly found myself filling the hours I'd previously spent tending to my mom rearranging my life for her absence. Suddenly I wanted just the right place to put this or that thing to remember her by - and I had all this extra time to make it happen. So, the grief over my mother has led to a catharsis of sorts of rearranging and redecorating. I can't say how many times I've stopped to look at something I've done and had the urge to call Mom and tell her how great it looks - how pretty that thing of hers looks in that place - or how she was right about how cute that doll she kept trying to give me really did end up looking in my kitchen (I'm not a doll person).

So, in that absence of anything of any theological importance to say, I thought I'd share with my friends some of the changes that have occupied so much of my time this last couple of weeks.

So these first pictures are of the dining room at Christmas, one week after Mom passed away. By this time I'd already had to dispose of a large sofa to make room for a dining room set, in what used to be a living room. You can see the dreadful wallpaper which we vowed to remove "immediately" when we moved in almost three years ago. Somehow it never seemed as urgent again until it became the dining room.



Over the past week I spent my extra hours each day peeling horrid wallpaper, the layer of plain paper underneath, and caulking the gaps and cracks in the ancient wallboard. (I know we really needed to replace the wallboard, but that's for people with more money than we have. So we will make do, and be thankful for paint and caulk.) Here's how the house looked this morning, with all the books, furniture and what-nots crammed to the center of the tiny room to give us access to the walls. This afternoon, my dear son, Tony, (that's him in the plaid shirt, above) began with the paint.


And here's the work that was finished by the end of today:

That's Tony working invisibly behind the furniture. What's left is to re-texture the lower portion of wall, and then decide whether to leave it white, or paint it the same color as the rest of the room, leaving only the chair rail and other wood trim white. Then we put it all back in place, and get ready to paint the front room, which should be as straightforward as anything ever is when dealing with a hundred year old house.

 So, this is what keeps me from my blog. Lord willing that won't last too much longer, but He knows the plans He has for me far better than I do. This week our Charity study resumes. Perhaps that will lend me some substance to share. Thanks to all of you for your patience, kind words, and most of all for your prayers.

5 comments:

Gordon and Estelle Lobban said...

Thanks for letting us visit in your home, Laurie. Tony made an unmissable difference!

"Blessed are those who mourn" - who are in touch with the pain. And blessed are those who read of your grief-journey, who listen, learn and identify.

Andy C said...

Having lost my Dad just over a week ago, I now truly understand these feelings. I am struggling with the thoughts and words to express my feelings and to sort out his life in my mind in a way that makes sense and lets me cherish it.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this. It helps to see others coping with the journey I am now taking.

Oh yeah, I hate the forms and the calls too.

Betsy Markman said...

Praying for you in this time of transition.

rainydaytoys said...

Looks like Tony is the man to call when you need painting. Can't wait to see it all finished.

Laurie M. said...

Yeah, Dixie, he's been a big help. Though, his timetable and mine differ dramatically.

Andy,
I'm sorry to hear you've lost your father. Even though you know it's coming, there's nothing that prepares you for how you will feel when it happens. And boy do the feelings run the gamut. The business end of it is a bit stressful, but I found that people have been so kind every step of the way. I was telling Paul today that if everyone treated everyone as gently as I've been treated, even by folks at utility call centers, since my mother's death, the world would be a much kinder place.