I have six medium plastic tubs full or partially full of mother’s keepsakes. That’s it. That’s all she had. She was 61 years of age and all she had could be put into six plastic tubs and carted away.
Yesterday, April 5, 2015 – four days after Mother’s death and my 24th wedding anniversary, I pulled three of those tubs outside and sat under our shade trees in my pajamas with the cool breeze on a beautiful sun filled day and began to look through her things. I was looking for something but I wasn’t sure what exactly. I knew in my heart I’d recognize it when I found it. It was surreal.
There were two of her Bibles (thank you Uncle Jimmy), books, old letters, and lots of pictures, many papers and such. I skimmed through each and created a trash pile for the junk papers. I picked up a black 3 ring binder filled with papers. The front and back pockets were stuffed with papers. The rings were full of loose leaf lined papers she had written on. There were about 9 pages of her handwritten life story. It was very condensed and to the point. As I kept reading, I realized it was from a recovery program and the year was 2010. I had forgotten she had attended a program about that time. She laid out a condensed timeline of marriages, substance abuse, physical abuse and such. I’m not normally much of a crier except here lately. But as I read, I wept. I could see from her eyes. Which was always important to me. I kept reading and some of it was hard to read but I needed it. I was thankful she left this behind. She even acknowledged lying to me about some usage. This was important for me because there is so much guilt when dealing with an addict. My first thought was always – she’s using or drinking. It was a logical conclusion because of history and her behavior but I always felt terrible falsely accusing or questioning. You feel guilt when you have to use tough love too. You have to do really hard things because you know its best. You feel guilt when you can’t do anymore but save your sanity. She could be really mean.
I read she was dealing with being angry with me for having her placed as an “EOD.” How could I blame her? I’d be mad too. But sometimes you are put in a position where you have to do really hard stuff for the other persons own good. It’s called tough love and it’s tough for all.
I sifted through more papers reading where she would write 5 positive things about herself. This was hard for her. She suffered from a lot of regret and guilt herself. It was nice to read the positive things she could identify about herself. She was a wounded soul.
I sifted more, I found my name! I could hear her. When she was serious or wanted my attention she’d say “Now, Kandy Lyn” really fast. It always made me smile the way she said it. Then I remembered how she’d get mad at Scott and she’d call him “Scotty” in a really mean voice. That always made Scott and I both laugh. He would try to protect me from the craziness and she’d get so mad at him.
I continued to read. There it was! Exactly what I was looking for! She got me. She knew my heart. She knew down deep I tried the best I could.
“Kandy – My daughter, Kandy + I have always been able to tell our feelings to each other except when I’ve been using or drinking. She forgives easily. She knows its the drug + behavior she didn’t like, not the person. Kandy is intelligent, beautiful inside and out, honest to a “T”, Trustful and compassionate.”
This meant more to me than anything she could have left me that had monetary value. My heart was full! I packed up the rest of her stuff, showered, got dressed and went to be with family for an early Easter dinner.
Life goes on.
Finding the sweet side of crazy!
Thank you Peggy!
Kandy, love this new site. Your posts are always inspiring!
Thank you so much Debbie!
I understand exactly what you mean. I had a similar situation with my aunt and about a week before she passed of an overdose she told me sorry for all that she had put me threw and that meant more to me than anything else
I’m so glad your aunt left you with that sweet gift. Life can be so hard and when we savor the sweetness in the small things – it helps us appreciate our blessings. Thanks for taking the time to comment. Best wishes! Kandy