so recently i finally cleaned out the trailer and junky house behind it that resides on my parents’ old property. it was a daunting task as i was doing most of it by myself. i had the help of the neighbors (but they are elderly people) and my inlaws, but the major task, deciding what is garbage and what is treasure, fell to me.
in my mother’s later years of life, she became a hoarder. our house did not look like those houses on the show but the house behind our trailer that we used as a storage building (hence forth known as “the shack) was filled to the brim with her hoard. when i moved back in with my parents in 2007 i found that all of the items i didn’t get to take with me when i moved out, were placed into the shack, and then my mother refused to allow me access to the building in order to retrieve things. to keep from having an argument, i didn’t push it, and had planned to at some point, just go in there when my mother was not home. unfortunately during that time i fell into a pretty disabling depression which left me hiding in my room most of the time.
after mom’s death we finally cracked open the shack to see what we could find. to my dismay what we found was not what i was hoping for. everything my family had stored in the building was now covered in a layer of random crap. newspapers, magazines, random junk from flea markets, and the worst part… garbage… my mother had been lying to me, telling me she was taking the garbage to the dump, but in reality she was placing it into the front room of the shack. it was disgusting and overwhelming… there was no way we could clean it up at that time (it was winter and freezing cold) so we left it.
we sold the land to a neighbor recently, so we finally had no excuse not to finish digging important things out of the garbage. unfortunately while i was living with ben, my brother had allowed unsavoury individuals to live in our parent’s home. they made a mess of things and i found, much to my dismay, that they had allowed several boxes of IMPORTANT THINGS to be left out in the rain. it had been there for months. i live pretty far away and can’t drive, so i had no way to go down and check on things while these people lived there. i found a few items that made me very upset at them, and my brother, and currently i have decided that i am not interested in keeping family in my life. my brother is living with those same people who destroyed things and insulted his son. so he can call them family, because i am done.
i spent 2 days cleaning up what i could. taking things i felt were important, memories of my parents, memories of my extended family. i was very upset to find one of my father’s favourite portraits of his uncle was left to rot in the rain. it was completely faded out except for the painted on blue in the eyes of the picture. i found toys i used to play with, that vincent enjoyed playing with in the yard while we worked. we took them home and now they are part of his massive toy collection. it makes me smile to see them littering the floor of my kitchen.
at one point they found my father’s multi-tool. its this thing that has a screw driver, and a knife, and a set of pliers. its a silly thing and nothing major but it broke my heart. i stood there and cried my eyes out holding that. all of this was a terrible reminder that my family was gone, and all i have of them is stuff. it was hard to say “no that isn’t important” because everything was important… but i couldn’t keep it all. i gave a few random things to my inlaws, and a few random things to my old neighbors, because at least the items wouldn’t be destroyed with the buildings on the land.
on the happy side of things, i was able to finally find my scrapbook. its not one of those fancy scrapbooks with all the embelishments, just a scrapbook with a bunch of pictures and cards and funny things from my teen years glued inside it. it was something i never thought i’d be able to find in that mess and i am so glad i did. it has the first ever photo of me and ben, several photos from high school and the years right after. pics from my trip to nyc with the drama class, and various other keepsakes that i could manage to glue into a book.
i have some other blogs to write that aren’t as depressing as this. even though it was sad to clean out all of that stuff, and see the stuff that was lost, it also feels like a weight is lifted from my shoulders.