In just about a week, I will be off to Denver to pack the final pieces of my mother’s life and travel with her back to Houston. My mother and I have not lived in the same city (the last one was Denver) in 33 years. We have been close, especially since my sister’s death almost 30 years ago now. No matter where we were physically, I have managed to talk to her daily (with few exceptions) for the last five years or so.
Still, it will be different. And so much of both of our history’s is gone. First, when she moved from our family home on Oneida Street down the way to the new townhome on Oneida Way, many things were lost, discarded or given away. Especially things of my fathers and things from my sister’s and my childhood. I wish I had saved more of my dad’s things, more pictures, more of Betty’s and my books and school things. I was living in Florida then and it was a long way from Denver. Mom was going from a large house to a small townhome and storage was at a premium.
Two years ago, I should have known better but got worn out in the long process of cleaning out cupboards, closets, china cabinets and basement boxes. Things that never should have been given away, were, things that were very important to my mother and her life. But they were just things. Things I am sure I will want to one day lay my hands on and show Riley, Jordyn and the rest of the grandkids. But they are things I do not have.
My parents were master entertainers. Always hosting one party or another, my home growing up was filled with great food and good times. All of the trappings that helped set up for a great party, like silver, china, serving platters and barware are gone. I think Amber may have one set of dishes and a few crystal glasses. It is not my lifestyle but it would have been good if I could have saved more of those things in case someone wanted them later.
Mom will come here with a few boxes, a suitcase and some files. Not much after living 88 full years. I hope she is pleased with her new furniture and room. I am trying to remember the little things, like her favorite perfume (Nina Ricci-L’Air du Temps), her favorite soaps, handcreams and lip protector. I have not done all I could have while she was in Denver to surround her with the things she loves. I will try to do better.
She and husband, Jim are having some difficult times. I think he is having trouble now (that everything is said and done) letting her go. She cannot forgive him for making the decision to live without her (although it was tough as she needed more care than he and couldn’t travel and do the things he still can). I just want to get through this next week and get her safely on a plane headed home.
She is struggling and confused. I know this will only increase as move day and those immediately beyond pass. Of nine children, born on a little Oklahoma farm, she is the only child still alive. She is the end of the line of the Bransons-but she is still strong, yet gentle, and caring. Please pray for her and her peace of mind as she makes this last move.