Jan 5, 2013

She's Still Gone.....Update

I got a new canister type vacuum cleaner and took a week of vacation and seem to have been possessed by a cleaning demon.  Of all the demon possessions I have ever contemplated, the cleaning demon would probably have to be the one I would ask for.

I have a Christmas post coming, but the demon, having taken over possession of my soul recently, has produced this instead.

At first, the canister type vacuum freaked me out and made me itch for several hours after I used it.  I can report that I am way past that now.  In fact, with every canister of dust that I collect now, I am only inspired to collect more.  I have used every attachment on it, love them all, and have instructed the boys in it's uses as well.  I am foolish enough to keep thinking that one of these times I will not suck up much, what with all the cleaning I've been doing.  That has yet to happen, but I live in hope.  Small, manageable, can afford to be disappointed hope, but hope all the same.  One of these days it could happen.  If it does, you will be the first to know.  I'm not holding my breath and I would not suggest you hold yours either, you understand, but we will make a note.  It could happen.

Remember when I was unable to bring myself to deal with The Beautiful Redhead's room?  Well, I have arrived at a compromise.  I told her at Christmas that I didn't think I was going to be able to bring myself to pack up her stuff.  She laughed.  I told her that it would be different when she got her own house and came in and told me she was taking it.  She rolled her eyes.  She left me here without touching a thing.  Again.

Ok, the wedding dress was still hanging there and I just stuffed it in the closet.  I don't count the closet when I am working on the room.  My mind can't encompass the whole process at once, ok?

Then the cleaning demon took possession and I just started doing stuff.

I did one side of the room at a time.  If I have to explain that, I would say you have never had a child who left home and then you used the room as the "throw it in and shut the door, quick-like(!)" room.

I packed up all her personal stuff.  I did not look through it.  I am 98% sure I packed up 3 boxes of trash for her to go through herself one day, but that's the way I roll.  I told God when I had kids that when I erred, I would always try to err on the side of caution, and I have kept my end of the bargain.

I got up today and drank a pot of coffee.  I did not shower, dress, or brush my teeth.  I warmed up taco soup for the boys and then directed them to remove an old television, a bicycle (yes, really), and a shelf from that room into the basement.

My hallway looked like this:

That's Shadow's tail because she is my constant companion when doing anything.

And just to show my appreciation, here is a picture of Shadow, who is always sure I am taking her picture.

Wew, yes I wuv her.....she's my sweet baby bupkes.......

I found a pair of angel wings that I bought for her when she was 5 and cried over how fast the years went and how I can still remember how the crevice of her neck smelled when she was that age.   I smiled at how I bought a pair of fairy wings for Abigail this Christmas and she loved them as much as Mackenzie once loved these.  Then I carefully arranged them in the crib she and her brother used when they were infants along with a big teddy bear that she acquired when she was just a few years older.  I did not touch her little redheaded dolls or tea sets or rock collections.  They are just as they have been for 12 years, although I do plan to give them a good wash and I still have to get all the books and stuffed animals cleaned up too.  Perhaps the cleaning demon will make more appearances.  We will see.

Not gonna touch.  Well, maybe clean.  But not put up.  EVAH!  And that little truck actually says Mackenzie's Ice Cream through no design of our own and was the only little car that child EVER wanted and I always found it after her twin brothers had stolen it and you can see who was victorious here.  Me.  I did it for you, Kenz, only and always for you.

The angel wings are laying in the cradle, in front of the foot pillow I got for a Christmas present when I was about 12.  It was all the rage, man, I speak the truth.  And yes, that's Shadow again, supervising operations as always.  And yes, my problem with throwing things away is not new.  Not by a long, long shot.

I cleaned the cool electric lamp she had to have when she was 12 or 13.  I dusted the picture of her she was a naked infant and smiled and cried a little more.

I cannot believe she didn't take this.  I still have fun playing with it.  Maybe she is the more mature of us.  Oh well.

I dug out the mosquito netting that I got for her when she was 10 and put it back up.  In it I found the pearl ring I got her for her 16th birthday and she thought she had lost for the last 4 1/2 years.  She never stopped talking about that ring and I never found another one like it so I could replace it.  It has been found and replaced in the one jewelry box (out of dozens she had) I didn't pack up.

Ok, so she never liked the netting.  I liked the netting, OK?  As it turned out, that was all that mattered.

The boys fled the house and soon the room looked like this:

I couldn't bear to put up Raggedy Ann.  She has been a faithful companion not only to the Beautiful Redhead, but to me after she ran off and left us to live her life.  We've been through  a lot, Raggedy Ann and I.....Besides, this is the redhead wall, with the naked redhead baby picture and I am not breaking up the set.  I cannot.  I will not.  This discussion is over.

and this
I'm never  giving up this photo.  She can have it when I'm dead.  Or the Mardi Gras feather boa or the only surviving float trip hat that I got for $5.  Not at the Dollar Shop, obviously. And that dangling sparkly stuff is attached to a crown of stars.  Never know when the need to wear one of those will take a girl over.....Just come on over, I saved that too!

I put the both the quilt her grandmother made back on the bed and set the fearless white lion she coveted (and got) when she was 11 on top.  I propped her favorite teddy bear when she was a child against her pillows.   

Ready for a traveling princess to stay.  And her little sister, too, with the cradle and all....

I was touched and thrilled to discover that the note her grandmother Paula had written in lipstick, along with lipstick kisses, had been there so long that it didn't easily clean off.  I left it there.

Clean this off?  NOW?!???!!?  Are you nuts?  Obviously, I am not good at that.  Accept it and move on.  I cherish my memories, right down to making them part of the permanent decorations!

I found the keyboard she learned on before we had a piano.  This same keyboard was later co-opted by her brother and the boys in his band (s) of her favorite boys of all time put the cheat sheet tape on the keys.  I smiled through tears as I remembered the years of not being able to talk on the phone inside my own house for the bass beat that kept our house hopping.  Years of calls at 11 pm to bring a guitar or an extra amp to a gig.   Years of 6 boys showing up without much time but needing to eat and throwing frozen lasagna in the microwave and watching them eat it while it was still cold.....but they didn't care.  Years in which I watched her get to hang out with the older kids and have a really good time in safety because she had an older brother who was 10 feet tall.   I didn't touch a thing, but now have to find a place to keep it.  Perhaps the closet.......
If this keyboard could talk........All we have is youtube videos of Our Last Run.  Go look one up now.  You may or may not need Kleexes.  No shame.

So her room has been tackled, mostly, and that leaves my list of things to do a little shorter.  Ok, no shorter, since I can cross off Mackenzie's room but now have to add Mackenzie's closet.  Still.  It's progress and I count it all.

And that is my progress, if you can call it that. I choose to call it that. The closet is still to be dealt with on another day, but this is her room now.  Undoubtedly hers, but not recently.  Proof that she lived here and will always be able to come back.  Her childhood still displayed, but not able to be picked up easily.  Just still there.  Always.

I feel very badly about the Christmas post, but will work on it soon.  Perhaps by Valentines day?  I kid.  Kind of.  I think.  I really don't know anymore.  I just get myself out of bed and go in whatever direction I am pulled.  It doesn't usually make sense to me, but still I go, and am even getting some things accomplished.  I had to ask what came next, right?  Well, this is it.  Proof that God listens, not to mention a reminder to always think about whether you really want to know the answer before you ask.

It's going to be a long winter.  It always is, in Missouri.  I wish for you a canister vacuum and the raw courage to face what it will dang shore collect.  Buck up and suck up, folks, spring is coming but not for awhile yet.