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Letting go and looking forward

By Gloria Diaz

Check out Gloria's Blog — Edge of Gloria!

Fort Wayne Reader

2012-09-06


Even though Iíve made huge strides this summer with getting rid of stuff in the house, I still kind of look around and feel like I havenít made much progress. But I have. I took a picture of my parentsí bedroom a few months ago, and remembered when I had to carefully climb over stuff in order to get in the room. Little by little, the stuff started disappearing. What seemed to be an impossible job is looking more and more doable, but itís the kind of job that literally took years.

Legally, the stuff that belonged to my parents also belongs to my brother; at least half of it. When it finally dawned on me that he didnít want any of the stuff, I started carting it down the hallway, and out the front door.

The biggest piece that was also a bone of contention for a while was Dadís Stereo Cabinet. This five foot, seven inch long wooden cabinet, weighing God knows what, was something my mom couldnít get rid of (actually my brother said heíd take it, but never did) and something I held on to, until my brother said he didnít want it. The cabinet had to go. I didnít know if the components worked. It would make a nice storage cabinet if someone wanted to gut it, yet I didnít have the know-how, and didnít really want to do it. I put it on eBay, but no one bid. I got an email from someone insisting that I shouldnít throw it out; that it was worth money. Perhaps, but not in this part of the country. I didnít want to throw it away, but I didnít want it anymore. I canít remember if I ever saw the turntable working. I canít remember a time when it wasnít in the house.

But I wanted it gone. The cabinet reminded me of a happier time; a time I canít ever return to. I pushed aside really mourning for my mom in exchange for a frenzied work schedule. I worked as much as I could so I wouldnít sit around and miss my mom. It worked for a while, until Friday afternoons would roll around. I would get off work, stuff myself full of food at my favorite Chinese restaurant, come home, and cry in my bathroom, pounding my fists against the wall. My parentsí room became part history museum, part garage. What I wanted to hold on to but had no room for ended up in there. And what I didnít want to face stayed in there as well.

Bit by bit, I went through it and got rid of a couple bureaus, a lot of junk, and boxed up the rest. My brother took the shortwave radio, but got an electronics enthusiast to take the speaker the radio sat on for decades. A friend helped me boost the stereo cabinet on one end, a neighbor lent me his hand truck, and we got it down the hallway and out of the house.

And amazingly enough, in the woefully unsuccessful yard sale I had in early August, a miracle happened ó Dadís Stereo Cabinet sold, to a guy impressed by the size of the thing (itís always about size with you men, isnít it?) and offered me $10. We loaded it into his pickup truck. The cabinet was the only thing that sold, but I felt like Iíd come to the end of a long journey. The only bad thing was that in the process of moving it out of the bedroom, Iíd ripped a hole in my Charlie Brown shirt. Figures. I rarely wear that shirt, in the hopes of keeping it fairly pristine, and I rip it on one of the metal handles on one of the cabinet doors.

I took the rest of the stuff I had to a new business specializing in buying and selling household goods, and made another $28.50.

I painted the wall the cabinet was pushed up against, and put up shelves. I still have a ways to go, but I plan to turn that room into an oasisóshelves for my books, a wall for art, and gradually turn it into a place where I want to relax. Maybe put mirrors on one whole wall to make the room seem bigger. Maybe a flat-screen mounted on the farthest wall.

Like I said, Iíve made progress, but thereís something that makes me think Iíve not done enough in cleaning the house. I think part of it is holding on to the things my parents bought, cherished, and touched. I can walk into their room now, and actually see floor space. I can move stuff around. I donít have to climb over junk.

But it would be fun if there were some kind of counter you could attach to the front door of your house; a counter that would tally everything in your houseófrom the biggest piece of furniture, to the smallest knick knack. If a human brought it into the house, it would be counted. It would be nice to have that same counter subtract things as they leave your possession forever. I look into the room now, and I see potential, not memories.

And itís about time.

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