My dad passed away on November 27, 2001. After having multiple strokes many years prior, his body slowly deteriorated over the years, leaving him mentally and physically disabled. My mom was his around-the-clock caregiver. He passed away peacefully at home at the still-too-young age of 74. My mom was only 67 at the time – they were 7 years apart, just like Steve and me.
Now, I get it. “It” being that once my dad passed away, my mom started calling my sisters and me to ask us if we wanted this or that… things she held onto over the years – prom dresses, bridesmaids dresses, baby clothes, and other mementos. It was time to part with these memories of ours that she held onto for us.
I now find myself in that same situation. Steve and I were 7 years apart – it must be a lucky number for a great relationship, at least I think so. I find myself becoming my mom. I recently had yearly service done on our furnace, which is hidden in a closet in our basement. Before said service, I proceeded to spend two days cleaning out that closet. Sometimes, I feel like we were hoarders. But it gave me some time to reflect on our lives, and the things we collected over the years.
I needed my hot glue gun for a project. So I ended up cleaning and organizing the craft drawer, which hadn’t been touched in forever.
I now am able to dust the house on a regular basis. Why? Because I can. Because now I have the time. All I have is time.
Time to get our house ready – but ready for what?
I now know why my mom purged her house. Because she had the time, and she could. She was retired and with my dad being gone, that’s what she had plenty of – time.
Death is a given. And now that one of us has passed, it’s just a matter of time until I follow. I’m only 61, and based on the previous life spans of females in my family – my mom lived to be 85, my grandmother 81, and my great-grandmother was 95 – barring any accidents, it looks like I’m good for at least another 20 years.
While I’m slightly younger than my mom was at the time we lost my dad, I’m also retired and have plenty of time. Time for things in the past that I never really looked at or decided to address. It wasn’t important – or there was something else on my plate that I needed to get to first.
Furnace cleaned – check.
Closet cleaned – check.
Found hot glue gun – check.
Craft drawer cleaned and organized – check.
Reorganized the box of light bulbs – check.
Cleaned the fridge – check.
Organized all of the condiments and dressings – check.
And the list goes on and on.
It seems that since I have lots of time now, I’m putting it to good use and using that time to be productive.
Now I know why my mom purged her house. And why I feel the urge to purge my house.
Because all I have is time.
Use it wisely in your own life. Let those disheveled closets go until another day. Because if you’re like me and my mom – some day, you’ll have the time. Spend the time you have now with your loved ones, making memories. Because time will eventually end that. Then, like me, you’ll have lots of time, and you, too, will know why.