This is my first post of the New Year. I have a whole list of topics I want to write about in 2010, including spotlighting some very cool things that I have done with a couple cool organizations. Tonight however, my heart is heavy with something and the only way I think to work through it by writing.
Several months back I wrote about moving out of my own home of 12 years and moving in with my parents. It was really hard to leave my house, but it was made easier because I did not have to pack everything up at the time, just the things that I needed with me. I knew that sometime in the future the condo would go up for sale and everything in it would need to be sorted, packed up, given away or put up for yard sale. When I started thinking about moving in with my parents I thought about what it would be like to “dissemble” my house and in essence my life. The thought of it was too much for me, so I put it out of my mind. I told myself that it was something my family would be dealing with and I most likely will all ready be gone by then.
One of the things about knowing you are dying you can push the stuff you don’t want to deal with on the back burner saying that someone will have to cope with it all after death. Well, I am still alive and although I have been feeling sicker the last couple of months, I am not showing any signs of dying in the near future, it looks like I have to deal with this.
My mom wants to put my condo up for sale on March 1st. She approached me tonight and told me she wants us to go over to the house tomorrow and start going through things. I wanted to scream and rage NO at the top of my lungs. Instead I sulked. She said she understood how hard this is for me, but how could she. How can anyone who has not gone through this have the slightest idea how this feels?
For the past two months I have visited my place roughly once a week. Nearly every visit I would end up hauling stuff from my place and try to find a place for it in my parents’ house. These items have been as simple as a book, sweater, winter boots, a few of my kitchen items that I found I did not like cooking without. We have been slowly emptying the pantry when we use up an item at my parents house and replace it from my stash. None of this has been particularly difficult, mainly because it was just moving stuff from one place to another. These future visits have a different meaning entirely. The purpose is to get my house reading for sale. The idea of going through my stuff overwhelms me. I know I have a file cabinet filled with irreverent stuff that needs to be reviewed and purged and the important stuff needs to be brought to my parents where they will be needing it. I know I have a closet full of clothes that I cannot fit into and going through these and donating to charity is a good thing. Put these are just two of the many things to be done, just the tip of the iceberg.
How do I empty out a house that I loved for nearly 13 years. What do I do with the stuff my family does not want. The big stuff is easy, but what about the drawing picked up in Monterey, CA, reminding me of the otters I saw play that day. How about the hat that looks like a lampshade that I wore all around New Orleans on my birthday. What about all my books, my cookbooks, or novels that I love to re-read. I already have a list of a few items I would like certain people to have, but what about the stuff that is not deemed important enough, what happens to them? Are they going to end up on a garage sale table for $2.00? How can I decide what to do with that stuff? It is important to me…..it is me.
Sometimes I wonder if cancer is the evil beast or if the evil is really all the stuff that comes with it; treatment, finances, lose of health – not actual illness, but the loss of being able to do the things I love live hiking, lost of independence, and so much more.
I try not to feel sorry for myself because it does not seem productive. I try to stay in the now and appreciate everything I have each moment and live today and love it as much as I can, but right now I am not there. I am mad. Since 2007 I have fought for my life going through painful treatments, losing my hair, my energy, losing part of who I was while trying to balance the new part of being a sick person. I am not working, stopped driving and depend on others to get me around, had to stop living alone and move in with my parents, now I am selling my place. I don’t want to decide what should happen to a knick knack that I bought in The Bahamas on vacation twenty years ago. The stuff in my house represents who I am a person, examples of events and places that have shaped me. If feels like having to go through them means it is time to get rid of me. I know I am dying and I feel life slipping away every day, but this just makes me feel like “what do I have to live for?”. I never had the delusion that I would get better and move back into my place, but I am not ready for this.
So many people tell me how strong I am and how I am an inspiration. We the truth is I am not that strong, I have just been avoiding the things that make me weak, I have been a coward. I am sitting here at 3am crying my eyes out and dreading for the day to come. Maybe if don’t go to sleep the morning will not come and I will not have to go over to my house and begin getting rid of my life. I know that morning will come and I will do the responsible thing and go over and get started, but this is breaking my heart and I don't know who will be picking up the pieces.
Please send me a comment if you have any advice for how I should deal with this.