This morning, I listened to a lengthy message played back upon on my phone. It was my father’s voice. Over the weekend, an “Estate Sale,” was held to empty the contents of my mother’s house. Although it had been my father’s home too, he had moved on: rightly so. Gone were his belongings together with the simple things he had chosen to take with him to the next phase of his life.
Listening to his voice describing the sale, I could picture strips of masking tape. Prices in black magic marker stuck LARGE to the backs of sofas and chairs throughout rooms within my mother’s house. Favorite pictures came down off walls to lie instead against the lower points of them. A better “tangible” view: a quicker sale. “Knick-knacks” scattered here and there and everywhere. Little things that didn’t mean a lot to someone buying them for 50 cents or less. Still, there were stories behind them….miniature booklets hidden within.
In the kitchen on tops of counters were stacks of china plates, a few used glasses, pots and pans, and odds and ends of silverware. Fresh young families holding children’s hands, their hair in dark, thick braids, helped to stack them in cardboard boxes. Their fathers carried them to shiny red trucks on big black wheels. Driving off, they smiled while gazing at lucky finds. Soon, they’d fill empty cupboards in nearby homes. My mom would be happy for them.
The last bits and pieces of my mother are gone forever now. I knew this day would come. God had been preparing me for months and years. Yesterday, I was only meant to hear my father’s voice across the miles through a recorded message. That was hard enough for me to listen to, hard enough for him to say. How difficult it must have been for him to watch his memories go out the door for pennies on the dollar. 56 years of marriage with my mother.
My mother’s death was final to be sure. Her house and contents kept me holding on to her. I know that now. Yet, I have memories of her in my heart to last my whole lifetime through. God has given me the gift of that. Thank you.