Saturday, February 16, 2008

On the road again...

So today I hop on a plane and head back to Georgia for six days. This is the winter break at my school, so it gives me a chance to travel back to where my mom lived to begin the long process of dealing with her things.

What a cold phrase, huh? Dealing with her things. Better to say...sorting through her belongings? Sounds less than what it really is. Managing the estate? Sounds like she lived at Graceland. But no matter how you say it, there is a house to be gone through. Attic to shed. Every drawer and every cupboard. Eighty-three years of living. Some of it will come to us. Some will go to other family. Some will be donated. Some will be thrown away. And my job this week is to start making those decisions.

Plus probate. I gotta see attorneys. I have to start closing out her accounts for cable and credit cards and all those kinds of services. So a lot of phone calls and visits to banks, etc.

It will be a tough few days, I think. My wife and the kids will be staying at home. Son20 still has classes this week. The other kids need their school break to catch up on makeup work from missing a couple of weeks ago...and just to relax and enjoy a little free time.

And what will make the entire trip more difficult? NO INTERNET! (gasp!) I'm leaving the laptop at home. My mom never had an internet connection at her house...so I would have to go to a coffee shop or book store to find free WiFi. And I would. But the temptation would be to go there every day. Maybe morning and evening. Cause you know I love my blog reading and my e-mailing. So to avoid all that, I'm leaving it at home and going cold turkey. Yikes!

But I've at least prepared a tiny emergency backup plan. I learned how to text message with my cell phone this week. I know...only ten years after everyone else in the world embraced that little trick of communication. But now I know. And if I reach a moment of desperation where I just have to type something, I can send a text message to someone. Now if I only knew all your cell phone numbers...... :)

Be good. I'll be around checking up on you as soon as I return.

25 comments:

furiousBall said...

sounds like you've got a lot of work to take care of, best wishes. sometimes the pragmatism of closing the accounts and sorting things helps.

May said...

Be strong.
A big hug,
C.

meno said...

I have given my child permission to just burn the house down in anything happens to us.

I suppose that's a bit extreme, but it would reduce the sorting.

Good luck. Take breaks.

Jenster said...

I'm trying to think of just the right thing to say and I've got nothing. I'm sorry and I don't envy you this mammoth task you have before you - let alone the emotions it involves. I know I'll be in your same position some day and I hope I handle the whole thing as well as you are.

Anette said...

Good luck to you!
Its strange and sometimes hard to go through someones belongings after they've died.
Just remember: no money, item or thing is worth jepardizing the relation between family and friends!
If you see such a thing coming, then let go of the money/thing - its not worth it!

whimsicalnbrainpan said...

I hope it goes as well as it can Em. I know it won't be easy.
(((HUGS)))

Rebecca said...

My Mom passed away 3 years ago. It was the hardest thing I have ever had to go through. I feel for you, in all seriousness. Good luck with handling all the aftermath. It sucks, and there is no other way to describe it.

MaryB said...

My thoughts are with you, em. Even though my parents did a bang-up job trying to spare us kids a mess to clean up when they died, there was still an awfully lot to do. Especially since both were veterans. I think it took almost two years to finally close down the bank accounts, finalize the IRS stuff, and sort out the veterans benefits. Hope Georgia's good to you!

Melody said...

Best leave the laptop at home. The temptation would be too great.

I hope all is going okay. You have a tough job to do...

citizen of the world said...

I guess you won't get this until you get back, but I hope it goes well. I helped my mother do the sme when my grandmother died - even with us and two of my sibs it felt like an overwhelming task. I rememebr that sometimes and force myself to get rid of things.

A said...

I hope you found something seriously bizarre that will always make you smile . . . like a secret stash of old bread bags in the attic. Or a rubber band collection . . . envelopes from 40 years of phone bills . . . something to smile about!

Welcome back!
Amanda

Mama P said...

Em - I am sorry you are going through this. I really am. Much luck and love.

Jazz said...

What Furiousball said...

I can't help but wonder if going cold turkey from the internet will get you totally over your addiction.

Damn, I just noticed Furiousball's avatar blinks and moves. Creepy.

FENICLE said...

First, I am sorry to hear about the passing of your mother. I imagine you feeling life and death quite literally right now.

Hope you had safe travels and things go smoothly. My mom and aunt recently went through "things" at my grandmother's house. It takes a lot of time to sort through so many years.

My mom was so exhausted that she has now started going through her stuff and organizing it so that when she passes on (morbid I know!) it will not be as complicated for my brother & I.

I personally enjoyed going through my grandmother's things, because I felt like I got to know her even more. But then again, I wasn't responsible for deciding what to do with all that stuff...that is the hard part.

Gretchen said...

Hang in there. I promise to be good. But not that good. ;)

Gretchen said...

This sounds strange, but it was so hard for me to get rid of my mom's "teeth" and her glasses. I guess because they were so personal. Thinking of you.

TK Kerouac said...

Hugs and best Wishes!

Thomas said...

Good luck with everything. Going cold turkey is hard, but it will be good. Enjoy all the good memories you are going to find as you clear things out.

Above Average Joe said...

Sorry to hear about your mom.

Almost as sorry to hear no internet. (kidding)

Kati said...

What May said! *****comfort & peace vibes***** heading your way.

thethinker said...

I'm sorry to hear about your mother.

Jocelyn said...

It's good you'll have to focus, I think. The sheer physical labor combined with the emotional work is exhausting. Sure, it'd be nice to have escape from that--but somehow just plunging in and dealing is healthy. That's what I found when my dad died, anyhow.

Trish said...

What a difficult thing to have to do; I am so sorry.

Kati said...

Hey Em!! Whenever you get back, there's an award waiting for you at my place.

whimsicalnbrainpan said...

I hope everyting is going well.