My mother is not a hoarder, she collects things, sells things, uses things for events when she helps decorates and often gives things away. Her generous spirit is one of the qualities I admire about her.
So it shouldn't have surprised me when she started asking the family what they liked of hers to have when she dies. My brother Marty mentioned a chair, the desk and her cook book, my brother Zane asked for the infamous blue pan, Chelsea asked for the white ironstone dishes that use to belong to my Dad's mother.
The cookbook got me, dang I just assumed I would get it. Not that I care about anything in the house more than I care about my mother. In fact I cannot imagine my mother gone... the subject is spooky.
Knowing the cookbook has a future as well as the blue pan is strange, a mixture of happy-sad. Imagining them setting up home somewhere other than were they are: In my mother's kitchen is beyond anything I desire.
Yet what happens when we grow older... death seem to peek at us from around the corner and wave, "I am here." It makes us think of things we might not have thought about, it makes us exercise, or eat better, or stop doing crazy things... it makes us prepare.
Hopefully it makes us take note of what we value, what we hold to be true, what we want to live for.
My mom told me that she had asked Sacha what he wanted from her belongings. He said he wanted her grey enamelware cup and saucer the one that has been on the kitchen counter next to the sink, since he could remember. My mom was a bit taken back that he would mention a simple cup and saucer, though Sacha said, "Va you use is everyday, and it would remind me of you doing so."
Holding memories, homecoming, simple and steadfast.
A cookbook, a pan, a cup...
The little things that speak about the depth of enjoying time in Mom's kitchen, togetherness, meals, laughter, family.
Later around the dining room table I told my mom I wanted the sugarbowl and spoon, she laughed saying, "Too late Mark (another brother) has the sugar spoon, the butter-dish and he wants the blanket from the Azores too. I told him he could have the sugar-bowl after I die."
Dang, when did my brothers get so "we-like-kitchen-stuff" on me?
And we started to tease my brother Mark about taking everything to his house in bits and pieces.
The day before Thanksgiving, while my mom was busy in the kitchen preparing the meal for the next day, she asked her grandchildren to think about what they would like of hers when she was gone.
They didn't think about their grandmother dieing instead they thought about what they might want.
My mom asked Kate (7) the youngest grand-daughter,
"What would you like of Va's when I'm gone?"
Kate said, "The house."
My mom nearly died laughing, and later told us, "Kate was the only one who asked me for the house, so I guess I should give it to her."
Why not shoot the moon!
Gee, why didn't I think of that?
My mom walking along the road.
I know what I am going to ask for... that she lives forever so that home will never go away.
What do you want (or have) from your childhood home?