The Similkameen News Leader
March 16, 2010
CLOSURE SOUNDS SO FINAL
I knew the day would come when it had to happen, so I guess I can't say it wasn't expected, but I tried to stay as cold and calculated as I possibly could.
I want to call it cleaning day but in actual fact it was the day that signaled the beginning of the end.
I'm talking about us finally getting around to cleaning Mom's house out, six months after her passing and it wasn't nearly as easy as I tried to convince myself it would be.
Maybe the wait has been what's been keeping me on edge lately. I'm not normally this cranky or angry. But I know if we started it any sooner than this it would have been probably a lot harder.
The home in Kelowna I grew up in was about to leave the family after being such a big part of my life. I vaguely remember moving into it in 1968 but I have many, many fond memories of the years spent there. Even after I moved away to start my own life in 1981 I kept going back as it was a comfortable, safe part of my past that I always appreciated.
Mom continued to live in the house until her first stroke two years ago forced her into an extended stay in hospital, but she fought back and was able to spend just over another year in family home.
A second stroke last year forced her into a wheelchair and pushed us all into realizing the family home was far too much for Mom to handle. Believe me, we looked at options that would keep her there, but they weren't realistic in the end.
My trips to Kelowna became more frequent as Mom's health declined and I always knew I had a place to stay. Somewhere I had strong connections to and somewhere I was comfortable being regardless of the circumstances.
We will end up putting the house up for sale by the end of the month once we complete the massive task of removing basically everything inside. Mom was a bit of a 'pack rat' so although the task sounded huge in the beginning, it got easier as time passed.
I retrieved some belongings of my own I had stored there and collected things that connected me to the house, the years spent there, growing up in Kelowna and memories from the past.
I haven't felt much of a connection to my 'home town' for many, many years, but the family house had a way of settling me down whenever I was there. The old neighbourhood has changed a number of times over the years and neighbours have come and gone, but the house I grew up in was always there sitting proudly in the front part of the property welcoming me whenever I wanted to stop by.
Soon that will be all gone.
But at least I'll still have all my memories.