Friday, April 23, 2010

I am so frustrated....

that I could scream, spit, throw things, kick. Basically throw an all out throw down tantrum. But I wont. Ill just go in my room, call Luke, sob hysterically, he'll try to understand me through my hiccupping and loud bursts of tears. Then he'll talk me down and I'll figure out some way to mellow out to try to fall asleep before my sub job tomorrow.
My dad doesn't like stuff. Particularly stuff that's not his. He calls it junk. "What do you want me to do with this junk?" he says. He usually says this when hes moving it. Not because you asked him to but because he wants it out of his way. He doesn't want to see it. A mess is something you can see. If it's stuffed into a box, or into a drawer he doesn't have to look at, it's not a mess.
This has become an increasing larger issue because much of mom's stuff he has no use for. Therefore, it is junk. Get rid of it is his new mantra.

Only thing is, some of these things are things Valerie and I still use on a regular basis, have particularly fond memories of, and hope to use someday. Some of these things weren't even moms. Like the potted plants I grew from cuttings almost 8 years ago. The fact that they're even still alive is an incredible feat. I let my mom take them to her class sometimes for the school year but they'd come home and were still mine. My dad gave them away to my moms' caretaker. I didn't even know until the dust had settled after mom's service on Easter Sunday. He has yet to get them back.

Then there's the Tupperware. Mom had a set of 10 large Tupperware bowls. Great for pancake mix or fruit salad in the fridge. Especially great for cooking in the classroom. Which I do. I use the bowls at least once a quarter. Yep those were gone to.

Knowing that things are moving, disappearing, going places. It sets in a sense of panic. Here is my life as I've known it...home, found in not necessarily the architecture...and its changing. Faster than I can turn around. I was prepared for things to be different as far as not having mom physically here, but this is taking things to a whole 'nother level.

Part of me knows we cant take things with us to heaven so what does it matter, but maybe the things that have been left behind are reminders to help our family who is left behind. No. We DONT have to keep all of these things. We DO need to be considerate of those who DO want things.

Throwing everything away will "piss people off" and make them estranged relatives rather than loved ones. Saying "I'll put it in a box in the garage and you can have what you want" does not promote a healthy attitude of truly assessing and saying do I really want this.

When I see my dad getting rid of things I panic and say that I want it all. When I go through it I get rid of more than I thought I would.

Today was a pretty good day. Dad and I had lunch, I came home did some organizing in my room, getting rid of things, packing. Dad and I went to the gym, and even got him some new pans. We come home he gets out his pans, great he can use his pans, wash them in the dishwasher (he loooooves running the dishwasher and these are dishwasher safe) and put them away. I go to meet Val and a friend for appetizers. We come home and he's got a box in the kitchen. And the cupboards with the things we use when people come over are empty. Everything is on the counter. Other things are in the box. Panic takes over.

He told me today how he got rid of one pan that we've ALWAY made mashed potatoes in. Fine. Whatever. He tells me that he got rid of a bunch of "old cans of food that we never use." He got rid of pumpkin people. Hellloooooo pumpkin shortage this year. We were saving it for the pumpkin pecan dessert my mom loved. Still okay. I can deal. But when I see all the pretty colored aluminum cups on the counter right next to that box. And the mini HAVILAND saucers right there with them. We're talking OLD bone china.

Let me just say, that panic does not make a girl rational. Panic does not make a girl say "okay, Ill just pack up what I want." Panic makes me scream and cry and want to put it all in a box where he cant touch it. I can stand guard and label it Jessica's Don't Throw Away. THEN it will be safe and Ill have it. No one else. But really what then is the benefit? And really....packing all these things up for what? To leave in the garage that he wants empty? To leave while Luke and I traipse around the country doing golf stuff for who knows how long? Old things, sentimental family items are meant for a home. A home with memories. A home that you come back to.  A home that is the center of the family.

Argh, make the panic go away. Make me rational enough to pack everything up sensibly. Make me effective enough to do it quickly. Make it not hurt.

So. In response to his questions at the end of his blog titled "Dead Woman Talking" when he asks

Was God sending me a message? Was Sue? Was my mind just working to resolve my own internal conflicts? Bruce woke up shortly afterward, at 5 a.m. (8 a.m. his usual time zone) and we discussed the dreams a bit. I have an idea what I think about them, but would be interested to hear what some of you think.

I say it was your brain. Telling you its okay to get rid of things because that's what you want to hear. Our brains use sleeping time to file things that happen during the day. To file our thoughts and ideas. If it is a message it is not "sure, go throw  everything away. Get rid of it all." Mom would never have instigated so much stress and tension.


Anonymous said...

It's tough for each of you - each in your own way. Unfortunately (or perhaps not) you can't do it all on your own. Everything you do has an effect on the others. Some of it hurts. Some of it makes you each cry. No matter what - love is stronger than death, and anything else that comes along.

It takes a long time to heal - & even then it can come back to bite you when you least expect it.

A long distance hug and continuing prayers for you.


Grandma G said...

Sounds like maybe your dad is trying to hurry up and get rid of his pain by getting rid of 'stuff' ('reminders').

I feel for you... I understand how you must feel... I would feel the same way. I hope he reads your blog and gains some understanding, too. I hope he realizes how much he's hurting you and is willing to at least compromise... like maybe you could sort through things and make decisions together or something.

As for the dreams... it doesn't seem likely that your mom would be telling him to get rid of things in this way. I think she would want him to have consideration for your feelings... as much as he would have had for hers.

Life is so hard sometimes... and we cope the only way we know how. When we're hurting and strung out, everything is magnified. We 'react', instead of thinking and acting more rationally.

I pray for peace between you two, and for help with all those decisions.

Love and hugs....

Jamie said...

I'm sorry!!! I wish I was seeing you in person to give you a big hug. If you have a couple things that you need to "process" whether you want them or not, but your dad wants them out, you can put them in boxes and I'll find a place for them in our garage until you have a settled "home". I'll put them with your stamp box. Your dad loves you very much...I know you can work out a good solution together. Love you and praying for you!

Anonymous said...

Darling Jessie:

Each of us are so different. It doesn't mean one personality is better than the other. Some of us are savers and some of us are tossers. Each of us process grief differently also. I know your dad isn't doing this to hurt you, he loves you very much. He is just dealing with his own grief.

When our youngest daughter went to college the parent orientation at Westmont told all parents not to change their bedroom for 1 yr. I didn't change her bedroom for 4 yrs. She always had her own things around her when she came home. When she graduated and didn't move back into our home I packed up everthing, painted and had put down new carpet. She was furious with me! I couldn't figure why, she wasn't coming back to live, she was moving on with her life, getting married, etc. I didn't think that I had done anything wrong. In fact, I had waited extra long. Now I know that it was change and finality that grieved her because no one had died. But her childhood was over and home as she knew wouldn't be the same.

I pray that the two of you can love and appreciate each other for the next 33 days. Because truly, Jessie, when you are married and gone your home will be the one that you and Luke build together. Your dad is going to have move on as well, as hard as that is for you, it is reality.

I will praying for both of you. Hugs, Karen

Anonymous said...

Sorry for your frustration, Jess! We can offer a little bit of room in our garage for a box or two for safe keeping as well. Hope you and your dad can work this out.

monique said...

I think I am like your dad. I am a big time collector of things, but whenever I am dealing with someone passing I tend to start cleaning things out. I dont know what motivates your dad to do this, but for me it is how I cope with the loss... I take charge and start doing what needs to be done instead of waiting weeks, months, or years. Neither of you is wrong, because you each are dealing with the loss in a way that works for you. However, you might want to have a sit down and talk about it with him, try to come to some compromise. HUGS

monique said...

p.s. thanks for the comment on Cardigan Cake ;)

BB said...

Sorry about your frustration and pain Jess. Everyone deals differently with loss and it seems like your Dad is coping in his own way. I'm with Grandma G's theory. That doesn't make it any easier for you though. After a loss in our family we made a photo book full of memories and stories and pictures so those good happy thoughts and memories of our brother lived on through our good memories.(If you want I can give you the info on the company that makes them.) Everything will work out just the way it is meant to, it always does. Lots of prayers and good thoughts!

Little Spouse on the Prairie said...

Sorry I am late in reading your blog. Been subbing way too much! It made me cry! You gotten some great comments! Sometimes people are grieving so deeply they say and do things they will regret later-like throwing reminders of loved ones away. Keep talking to your Dad, telling him how you feel. Love and prayers, Janice

Neola said...

Sending love and hugs! Each one of us deal with tough things differently. Praying that you can work through it all with understanding and love.
I think guys deal with things like that differently than us women. We have feelings attached to things and events. I want to save but John is more ready to get rid of things.
I remember all the emotion I had leaving Oregon and packing up things and letting go of things. It was hard because it was a closing of a chapter in our lives. The boys were growing up and leaving home.
You are heading into a new chapter in your life with many changes. The changes have emotions from all extremes..sad, mad, happy. Kinda like a rollercoaster.
It is my hope that you can have some good quality time together with your dad and sister in the days ahead. Love each other.
We continue to pray for you all.
Love you