It happens to every family at some point: an aging parent dies and then a home of decades has to be disassembled - but like so many things in life, you never really think it will happen to you until it does. For my siblings and me, the task of emptying 152 Sampson Parkway in Pittsfield MA has been gargantuan and heartbreaking and seemingly endless.
Sunday was one of the worst days of my 63 years of life. To see my mom and dad"s home go from being gorgeous and warm and welcoming and spotless to a total shit pit with huge piles of garbage everywhere you turned was brutally hard. I'm starting to cry because this is so difficult to think and write about.
Mom and Dad, I'm really sorry that your house ended up looking like it did on Sunday. But it had to be done and we all pitched in and did it.
It was so hard to watch my sister Karen work for 2 1/2 hours straight without once stopping for a glass of water sweeping up piles of sawdust in the basement. That was the same basement where Dad had all of his woodworking tools. So many years and so many projects - so much of dad's heart and soul were in those endless jars of nails and pieces of wood. It was so hard to watch my sister Holly spend weeks sorting through dishes and towels and sheets and blankets and tons of other stuff.
Emptying mom's cabinets and her refrigerator was a killer. And it was so awful watching the movers take her dining room table out the door. We had so many amazing family meals at that table! There will be no more of Dee's pot roasts or apple pies or spaghetti and raisin meatballs. No more of her mouthwatering breads and desserts. Mom fed us so much love in all of the food she cooked in her 89 years of life.
I will never forget last Friday when I found dad in his hat and coat going from one room to the next doing what he called his final "pass through" -- saying goodbye to the house he really didn't want to leave. My endlessly strong dad was crying and I was trying to hold it together for him. I will never forget walking him down the sidewalk and helping him into my brother's car. As I kissed him goodbye he was crying and so was I.
We are all hoping that Dad enjoys his new apartment in Easthampton MA. We hope he makes a lot of friends there! We hope he adjusts to the un-Dee like food!
One big apology: At one point in the basement Sunday afternoon when I realized that there was still another room that had to be emptied I went berserk. I started yelling at you for collecting sooooo much crap and leaving it to us to shovel out. I started throwing things off the shelves into a huge and horrifying heap in the middle of the floor.
Inside I was crying already missing you both.
Thank you Mom and Dad for being such wonderful parents. Thank you for making a beautiful home for us for so many years. I'm going to remember your house the way it was just a few weeks ago before you sold. I know the pain of packing up and moving out will fade. And my sibs and I will remember 152 Sampson for all the good times and the wonderful days we spent there.