When aging parents downsize, it's not easy

Be ready for when your aging parents downsize the house. Here’s one of the hard parts for me. It's full of stuff, memories and emotions.

About 10 or 12 years ago, Mom and Dad decided that they were ready to sell their house and move into an apartment closer to downtown. The yard was too much trouble and it was getting too much to shovel the driveway in the winter.

Well, that was easy for them to say. I had grown up in that house. I liked returning “home” for a visit and sleeping in my old bedroom.

Now they had to go through all their old collections of things and decide- the great decision- what little to keep? There would be no room in their new little 2-bedroom apartment for storing any stuff.

Dad especially found it really hard to throw out all his old tools that he had collected and used over the years. Some of the tools had been handed down from his own father.

All my stuff was on the line too. I couldn’t bear it. As moving time approached, Mom and Dad kept calling me and asking if I wanted to keep this or that keepsake that they had found of mine in the attic.

I found it too painful listening to the list of things that were a part of my life- and theirs- that were now in jeopardy. It was as if throwing those things out, or putting them in the yard/garage sale, was going to destroy not only all my memories but also the truth!

I ended up saying I didn’t want anything of mine- or theirs for that matter. I had left a lot of my stuff in the attic for years- decades- and now it was so important.

It wasn’t easy talking about this –or even thinking about it. Now it’s in the past and its ok.

I still have all my good memories after all, and the truth about who I am and who my family is. It didn’t reside in all the stuff that got sold or thrown out.


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