Another Life Lesson

April 6th, 2015 | Posted by Barbara Belknap in Gather the Women

My last blog was about “Forgiveness” ( and I wrote that my sister was going to help my father move out of his home and go into a nursing home. She was in California thirty-three days and flew home to Tennessee yesterday. Dad is safe and in the local nursing home. Our younger brother and his wife were able to use the appliances and the furniture. Our older brotherIMG_5709 is there now clearing out the stuff our younger brother didn’t need.

Last night, Kathy sent us a message: “This has been a very long 33 days. I pray to God that I have the wisdom to plan for my elder years so my two children do not have to go through this. I have already decided that on my 80th birthday (if not before), I will trade my driver’s license in for a State ID card. When I get home I am going through stuff and getting rid of paper. If I outlive Gail (her wife), I am going to move to community living BEFORE the decision has to be made for me. When I went in the convent (in her mid-forties), everything I owned fit in a steamer trunk. That will also happen if I live to 80, if not before. With mom and dad both having dementia, I will be asking my doctor for memory loss medication at the first sign of dementia. I am going to be focused on exercise, begin Yoga, and strive to live with intention. I am sure I have more thoughts on this subject. Stay tuned.”

After she got home, Kathy sent another message that she would be visiting dad at least once a year, and that she was grateful to him and mom for all the times they helped her as a young single mother. Any remaining hatchets have been buried for good. There is a freedom in that.FileCabinet2

This past month has been a lesson for me, too. I’m looking at my “stuff” in a new way. There are the tangible things: the clutter, the files for endeavors from years ago, GTW meeting minutes from the 1990’s (yes, on paper), the accoutrements for hobbies and projects long abandoned or finished, and a four inch stack of Pride Chorus sheet music from years past that I can turn in. I have shoes with high heels and clothes that will go to Goodwill. That’s just the stuff in My Room of My Own. I haven’t started on my subconscious yet.

Update: I had a rare case of insomnia last night and was up until 5:30 a.m. cleaning out files. It’s a good start!



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