moving and unmoving

We are settled in our new home and have almost emptied all the boxes to sell them back to the moving company. As moving day drew near, the strategy towards the end was to dump junk into the box. I only found my Diet Coke and the cat food yesterday, nearly 20 days after it was packed. That quickly became a running joke with my friends, “Did you find your Coke yet?”

While we were moving, so were my HP and stepmother. I have yet to hear if they have successfully moved into their newly constructed home built alongside the outbuilding they erected a year ago. They have posted photos along the way. The idea was to build a handicap accessible home. I fail to see the logic, though, in two retired people building a large new home in the country, practically across the road from their old home. I know how strenuous moving was for us, and I’m in my early 40s. For my father who can hardly walk, I can’t understand. They went into debt at a time in their lives where downsizing and minimizing living expenses are sensible considerations.

I am a bit saddened by their choice while understanding the excitement they feel for a new home. The hoard, however, has not been conquered. I received an email from my stepmom that I really need to answer but have not been able to address:

We’re so thankful to have the luxury of not showing our house until we have a chance to get out of it and clean it up to some degree. I just fear that we may procrastinate on getting it emptied and cleaned and on the market. It’s much too valuable to just sit here empty. We MUST work hard and steadily to get it on the market. We don’t need two house payments, two utility payments, two heat bills, etc. […]

and even more stunning to me:

You still have quite a few things here in your closet and dresser drawers. We sure hate to get rid of your things. A lot of it is paper items that, if they were mine, I would want to keep – – journals, notes, and such. Other items are family photos from long ago – – again things that if they were mine, I would want to keep them, even though I might not ever look at them again. We started an “A. corner” in the storage shed over on the property; we may just move the rest of your things into that corner. I don’t know.

That paragraph starts with “You.” Me. I have things there? What do I have? I last lived at home when I was in high school and have only visited for a week here or there for the last 25 years. [Note: I interrupted this blog post to tell my stepmom to burn my journals and sell the photos if she wants.] Nothing they have saved for me can be worth moving again.

I feel scared for my parents. They may never have the courage to confront the junk and they clearly do not know how to let go of things. My stepmom went on to praise her sons for taking next to nothing from their bedrooms (they both live within driving distance of her and visit regularly). She concluded her message with self-condemnation for being hoarders, for having trouble letting go. I suppose this recognition is a possible first stop in healing. I see no movement, though, towards cleaning out the hoard.

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