Saturday, August 14, 2010

Dead Roses

I am sitting here, trying to process some things, so bear with me a moment or few. I've been in this small 1100 square foot house for a little more than 6 years. We've grown to have a love/hate relationship with this house. There is always new hope in moving to a new place, and dread of schlepping your worldly belongings somewhere. Today's adventures took me to the laundry room, which equates to the "dungeon" of this house. It serves as a closet of sorts for Devildog and me, because our bedroom has no closet. It serves as extra storage for the stuff most people house in their garage. Well technically it IS the garage, except it's been enclosed and we now sleep in part of it. Anyway, I came across some roses from my mom's funeral, that had been wrapped in newspaper. I know I need to part with them. They're dead flowers. Dead flowers carry negative chi, according to the tenets of feng shui. Dead flowers kill a mood too. I was in what I call 'mission mode' pecking away at sorting through things on the shelf over the machines when I found them. I knew they were up there, but ignored them.

As I unwrapped them, with the intention of rewrapping them for some reason, I looked at them and knew I had to release them. They're dead flowers for pete's sake. They serve no purpose for me, they don't make me smile, they have no home here or will they in the new house. No problem right? Well for some reason I started getting emotional over some dead roses from my mother's funeral. Five year old dead flowers wrapped in newspaper shouldn't strum heartstrings. But they did just that to me. I looked at them a minute, and then took them outside and laid them under the loquat tree by the road. I couldn't just throw them in the trash, and we don't have a yard waste bin since the trash guys took our other garbage can (if they didn't leave it in the road it wouldn't get hit by cars). It was a logical step for me.

Except, doing that just did not feel right. I keep thinking I should take them to the new house and set them under a tree there. It keeps feeling like I'm leaving part of my mother at a house where I have no roots, nor ever intended to plant roots. And it just feels wrong. I sat down here and started blathering about it in my cleaning chat room (yes, question me later on that one), and in an IM to another person.

Then I had a bit of a revelation. When Mom died, she did not want Dad in the room with her. After 35 years together, you know a person, and Mom knew Dad would not handle watching her die very well, despite his iron-stomached stint at Walter Reed as an orderly tending the sickest of sick. She figured there would be the puddle of Dad goo that we would have to clean up and take home to the house they shared in all that. But it felt so very wrong for me to leave my mother alone, septic, smelling of horrid infection that is the "smell of death", but still present enough to know Dad was out of the room and actually try to leave before he and my brother got back. As soon as he returned, she perked back up. I think if they'd stayed downstairs five more minutes she would have accomplished her mission to leave without him there to see it. In my gut I knew I should stay, but I was driving Dad home. I could have sent him with my sister, but didn't. When I got home, I sat down and the phone rang. I knew it was the hospital calling. "Your mother has expired. I'm sorry for your loss." Perfunctory but polite. I asked what time she died. "11:16." She knew when Dad was safely at home again and held out long enough till she let go. They both were "home" at the same time, one last time.

Somehow I equated leaving those flowers from my mother's funeral to leaving my mother. Logically I know those flowers are not my mother. It still feels so very wrong to leave those dead roses by the tree at the roadside, like I felt it was wrong to leave her in the hospital alone to die. So, I've decided to take them to the new house and leave them by a tree there. I ultimately will release them, but it won't feel like I'm abandoning them - or my mother by the side of the road here.

1 comment:

Karen said...

It's cool that you were able to stop and see the implications of the flowers and where the feelings were coming from. I'd take the flowers with me, too. I don't envy you at all with the decluttering. I imagine your house looks like mine.

Take the flowers.

Thanks for your comment. It was perfect.