About a month ago, my Grandma was put into the Nursing Home. It was necessary, as she does have dementia, and physically couldn't take care of herself. What's more, Grandpa couldn't take care of her anymore. In fact, he's taken care of her for the past 2-3 years. Who am I kidding, he's taken care of her their entire marriage. She's a needy woman. But it got really bad the older she got. But, the Dr. finally said it was time and so she's in the Nursing Home.
At the same time, Grandpa decided he should probably move to the same town, into an "assisted living" apartment. It's not really assisted living, but it is a handicapped accessible apartment and it is right across the street from the hospital. So, we moved him. He doesn't necessarily like moving, but he said it was time.
Moving him, moving his furniture and clothing from a house he's lived in since 1975 wasn't easy. I'll admit, I did tear up a couple of times. It wasn't easy, seeing this end-of-life move for them. It's making me accept their mortality. And I just don't want to accept it. But, I'm having to.
This labor day weekend, we all went back down to clean the house. Englewood is a small town, less than 70 people live there. No one lives on the street my grandparents live(d) on anymore. No one. It would be way to easy for someone to break into the house and steal everything we left. So, we decided, with Grandpa, to remove the valuables and to clean out the junk and the filth.
And there was filth. And we cleaned. And we sorted and we dumped. And we did a good job. There's still more to do, but we got most of the house straightened out. We cleaned out cabinets in the kitchen, but forgot to CLEAN the kitchen and the bathroom. And, there's the trailer house out back and the garage to clean out still. My guess is that the house hasn't been this clean in YEARS.
Sorting the treasures was interesting. I felt a little odd being the only grand daughter there. (And, I'll say now, to G, T, and R, if I took anything home that you want, I will let you have it.) But, we three women worked well together, and Mom and Sandy got to have what they want. If not, they should tell me and I'll share.
We split stuff mainly to make sure it was safe. We all know of families who have had their parent's stuff stolen when they went into the nursing home. We, ourselves have lost stuff. Grandpa was going to give my his mother's wood burning cook stove, but when we went to the farm to pick it up, it was gone. Stolen.
It felt odd to be dividing up possessions when G and G are still alive...It felt odd to just do it, with Grandpa's "blessing". (We don't have Gma's blessing, and she might hit the roof when she learns what we've done.) Cleaning the house was much easier than dividing "stuff."
Cleaning. O my. We emptied the freezer. There was meat from 1992 in it. There was 25 lbs of flour. I tried to save it, but when it all thawed, the smell made me decide to toss it. We emptied cabinets that hadn't been opened in years. I can't express how it felt to reach into a cabinet, to pull some mystery item from it's bowels and know that there were lots and lots of spiders to go through first. Mouse nests...mouse droppings...spilled food...just filth. Grandma saved many many tablecloths that were stained or torn, and fabric. O MY GOD. Fabric, spools of thread, old zippers and buttons. Lots and lots of buttons. Lots and lots of thread, quilting books, patterns, just stuff.
The house is clean, I have some family treasures and some conflicted feelings. I don't really like this part of life...I can't really express how it makes me feel...it's just...odd.