Today (Sunday) is Tony’s 26th birthday. He and Nicole are in South Dakota heading to Wyoming.
We packed up a lot more things from Mary’s house and brought them home. It was even weirder this time to be up there. Packed up the towels, sheets, quilts, pillows, etc…stuff that isn’t quite as personal as say your toothbrush or dental floss, or prescriptions. Going through the bathroom stuff felt like ….well… like I was looking down someone’s pants with them in them. Very intrusive, very sacrilegious for some reason. I shouldn’t be doing this but I’ll be damned if someone else is going to do it. Even in the kitchen, her kitchen, going through her spices, the pantry with all the organic, natural, whole wheat, etc foods she bought, cooked with, and ate. Tony packed up many of the glasses he and Mary had from their days at UGA, ones that had memories for him. He must have also packed the dishes she bought for them when they moved into the house. There were only some cups left, with a butterfly on the inside, so Bonnie, Carol, and I took them. So much for keeping the set together.
Once again I felt like I was dismantling her essence, that which made Mary, Mary. Yes, she IS in everyone’s heart, she is alive in our memories, but there were things she did, things she had that probably no one but Tony knew about. Even things he didn’t know. Once when he went out of town on a job over the weekend I did my best to talk her into coming down after work on Saturday. She patiently told me several times that “it was a long way for one night”, “too tired and wanted to rest”, etc…. until she finally just said, “MOMMA, I want to be by myself for awhile and just sew and stuff. When Tony’s around and I want to sew I feel bad that he has to just sit there and watch me so now I can just do what I want and not worry about anything. I’ll be FINE.” Yes, I finally got the hint.
Everyone has a little piece of themselves for themselves. And THAT’S what I felt I was intruding on. If I were to leave this earth today, I can’t imagine what it would be like for someone to go through my things. I have so much crap lying around, much of it would either go in the trash or off to Goodwill. But I did keep most all the birthday and mother’s day cards my family gave me. So did Mary. Even things from grammar school days. I found things I gave her that she seemed really excited about…..still sitting in boxes on the shelves in her closet. Wonder if she was excited or didn’t want to hurt my feelings. What would people find in your house, your room, your closet, if they went through it? What would you NOT want them to find? Better think long and hard about that question.
Saturday I packed a box, drank some beer, walked around the house, drank some more beer, walked in the yard, ran back to the house and drank some more beer, ran back out to pick some blueberries (the bushes they planted when then moved in FINALLY bore some fruit!), came back inside to finish my beer. I walked in her garden, mostly weeds and wild flowers now, admired the grapes (once again finally bearing good fruit now that she can’t enjoy them). I swung in the porch swing, sat on the sofa, and laid on her bed. In between all these esoteric visits I did manage to pack some more boxes. We cleaned the bathrooms and tidied up under the porch. Sunday we tried to fit all the things and boxes into the car. Not as easy as it sounds. Still have to come back for a few more things.
Now “the house” looks more like “a house” and not Mary and Tony’s place. Saddens my soul even more.
That man’s court date is a month and two days away. The closer it gets, the harder my heart gets. Do you think I’d go to jail if I walked up and punched him in the face? Probably. Would it be worth it? Hell, YES. Wish I could stab him in the heart.
No poems from me today. My heart is empty.