Just carried out my third bag. About 50 pounds each. Memories and possessions collected here over the last 16 years. Representing 3 life’s. My brother Guy, my brother Cliff and my Mom. Things that my mom had clung to because of their sentimental value. Things I will have no room for. The job I have been holding out for doesn’t look like it is going to materialize in time for me to be able to keep my apartment.
I will be moving in with my youngest brother on June 1st. There is only so much stuff that I can take with me. So much that I simply do not have room to keep.
Maybe it will be good for me in the long run to leave here. Its kind of surprising how much stuff you accumulate if you live in the same place for a long enough time. Even more so when there is more than one person living with you. Every birth of a nephew or niece, every school picture, every graduation bring more memories, brings more stuff.
Birthdays and Christmases bring their own memories and their own accumulation of stuff.
Night has fallen on the life’s of my mother, my brother Guy and my brother Cliff. What little reminders of them I will be able to keep, will be small candles burning in the window of what remains of my life.
My Step-father was in the United States Navy, and when he went out to sea, old romantic that she was, my mother keep a centuries old tradition. She put a candle in the window every night before going to bed. The candle was there so that he could always find his way home.
Soon enough, night will fall on my time here in this apartment. When the dawn breaks, it will be a new day for me. But what kind of new day awaits me, I am no longer a young man at 56, but neither am I really an old one. It is without a doubt the autumn of my life, but autumn is not a bad time. A bit late perhaps to be starting over again, the bitterness of winter has not yet set in, soon enough to be sure, but not today, not yet.
The next three weeks, as I clean out my apartment, will be the most painful that I have ever known. I was born into a family of 5 kids. My mother, father and step father, and 3 of my sibling have shuffled off this mortal coil already. Perhaps the best thing about being born into a large family, is that you do not feel all alone. You always know that you have family.
Since February 6th, I have felt alone. While I still have one sibling left, I am still left with a profound sense of being alone, isolated in a strange and unfamiliar world. A world that I have never fit into, or felt a part of. A world that was alien, one in which only my family accepted me for who and what I am.
All of my brothers were younger than me. Only my sister was older. I never expected to out live any of them. To be truthful, I never expected to outlive my mother. I came into this world damaged, crippled, unfit to survive. Every day was an undeserved gift, and I took stupid risks and made bad decisions and bad gambles. I never expected to live this long. I never expected to bury my family.
I am reaping the rewards of my bad decisions. I do not blame anyone for what is befalling me, I made my decisions, not anyone else. I decided to reach for the golden ring, to try to be something more than I was. And I am the one who never planned for not grabbing that golden ring. I was going to be the greatest musician since Mozart, and that would provide me with fortune and fame to carry me through my life.
I was wrong. I’m not, and there was no fortune and fame. Just a very narrow skill set, of which, apparently I’m not all that particularly good at. So now at 56, jobs are damned hard to come by, and they aren’t particularly good paying ones either and I do not have skills that are in great demand.
Oh, I am not giving up, hell, I don’t know how to. But I don’t have any illusions about what is headed my way either. The future is going to be unpredictable and tough. Almost as tough as throwing away the things in my apartment. Almost as tough as letting go of the mementos of the lives of my brothers, my sister, my step-father and my mother.
With each bag of trash I carry out a little bit of me goes with it. Its hard, the hardest thing I have ever done.