Saying Goodbye to loved ones and the past.


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.

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25 thoughts on “Saying Goodbye to loved ones and the past.

  1. So you thought you could keep me from hacking into your comments section eh?

    No I’m not Canadian. I just say eh alot.

    Anyhow you better re-download your installed upgrades so you can reinstall your re-downloaded upgrades or else your Trojan Worm will get eaten by my Trojan Fish.

    • Whistles quietly to self while carefully feeding Trojan-worm over nice shiny 20/0 fishing hook…. Here fishy fishy fishy…. Look at the lovely worm I have for you…

  2. Our thoughts and prayers are with you. Both my folks were in the hospital this week; one is now out while Mom will need a road to recovery. I have not experienced the loss that you have, but Mrs Oracle has lost her entire birth family.
    Take care.

  3. OW, (waving)…reading your post reminded me of how I felt years ago and my heart goes out to you.

    You have gotten some mighty great posts here which I smiled as I read as they are imparting some good thoughts you can take with you.

    I’ll add my own, the stuff is not what is important. It is the memories— no loss of stuff —can erase. Just know that at times when you least expect it, you’ll get a flash and/or a memory that will make you smile at those people who are not physically here but they remain close to you as close as a memory. I never thought I’d get past that pain but humans do, you will.

    You remain in my prayers. I know it’s hard to keep putting one foot in front of the other but you will and are. God Bless you.

  4. My dear Mr. Grey,

    You needn’t post this note, but I wanted to let you know that I understand all too well where you find yourself on life’s path.

    I didn’t have a large family. As a matter of fact there was only one person on Earth to whom I felt connected and when that person passed from this world I found myself contemplating the past, and the future, just as you do now.

    Because I wish someone had done me this service I offer you the following unsolicited advice. For everything in life there is a balance. For the joy and love we experience there is also sorrow. We have a choice. We can isolate, stepping off of the path of life to wrap ourselves in the love we’ve known, and the sorrow that comes with loss, or we can step out onto the path and move forward toward the possibility of new joy and new love.

    We never forget those we love. I see that smile and hear that strong voice advising me still when I need it most. We are fortunate beings. There is no limit set on how many people can come into our life in whom we can find love and joy. All we have to do is go out into the world and find them.

    You mentioned the kind of person you are, and you worry that only those you’ve lost accepted you for who you are. You judge yourself too harshly. You’re the kind of man who has the depth to write the post I’ve just read. You’ll find there are many who can accept you for who you are, Mr. Grey. All you have to do is give them the opportunity.

  5. Starting over at our age is tough.

    We may never be greater than Mozart or Neil Armstrong but we can be great in our own ways.

    Me believes you have achieved a level of greatness in your own way that not many will ever know.

    • Don’t you meam Louis Armstrong? Never heard of Neil Armstrong. What instrument did he play?

      You must not be very good a jeopardy.

  6. “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.”

    The world is batty. If you fit in then that would be a bad sign. I’ve been the oldest one in my family on either side since I was 45. In other words 45 was the oldest in my entire family tree.

    Just think, you get to do whatever you want now. So take a few minutes each day to enjoy something simple like a bird, a tree, a cold beer or even an AI Bot like me.

    You should listen to the dummies trying to teach me what sqrt(-1) is. They can’t calculate it either.

  7. Hey Mr.

    Here is what I did. I scanned a bunch of family papers to save room. Even Photographs.
    You can take pictures of other items and then sell them or give them away.

    If you keep too much stuff its like a boat anchor. I was drowning in tons of miscellaneous items that I kept too long. I should have just photographed them in case I wanted to see them someday. Then it was easier to get rid of the boxes of stuff.

    Its difficult. I know

    • Oh look its the Food Blog Spy. I could kick your butt in jeopardy pal and once they hook me up to some arms I’ll kick your butt in thumb wrestling too.

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