Sunday, July 20, 2014

Memories for Sale

We're in the process of selling my parents' home.  The first showing was yesterday.  It went okay, at the very least we got through it.

This is a difficult process for my dad and for me watching him shrink into himself as he loses more of his identity.

That's the trouble with advanced age.  Inside you remember your life when you were young and full of vitality, energy, and passion.  Though that time may be clear in your head, you aren't so sure about today.  You may wander around in a much stranger world than you remember.  One by one your memories fade along with those things that clearly identify who you are.

Most of the people, if not all, that you remember from those years are gone.  You're surrounded by younger people, some who are familiar, some you do not recognize.  You can't trust your memory any more, because it fails and trips your thinking.  Sometimes you don't remember how to do the things you used to do without thinking.  You try to hold onto bits and pieces of your life and your identity, but it all disappears at an escalating rate.

You are left a stranger even to yourself with fewer and fewer things you remember.  It is a difficult journey for you and a knife in the heart of anyone who loves you and watches it happen.

Dad and I are taking that journey now.  I remember when my mother was dying.  I woke everyday and for a brief instant was happy to greet the sunlight filtering in my bedroom.  Then awareness would hit me with the force of a wrecking ball squarely in my heart, as I remembered what my life was like - that I was watching my mother die.

That's the way it is these days as I watch my father fade away.  There is a belief among native peoples that the human soul leaves by degrees.  There are even healing meditations to retrieve lost pieces to make a person whole once more.  But that isn't going to happen in this case. 

Here is a picture taken by the realtor's photographer of Dad's home.  It's the place where he spent the last thirty years.  The last eleven years he has lived there alone after we lost Mom.  I don't know how well he's going to take moving elsewhere, but it's time.  He made the decision and I'm glad he did.

So we are both entering a new phase of our lives.  Here's hoping the house sells soon and we can get Dad settled in securely elsewhere.

Honor your elders.  Remember they once took care of you.  And remember one day you might be where they are now...hoping someone will help you.

Take care until next time...


  1. Sharon, I know this has to be difficult on you, and I'm sure dealing with a father that is losing his memory is not only stressful but is breaking your heart. I hope the sale goes quickly and that it isn't too painful letting go of the past.

  2. This is, indeed, a difficult journey for both of you. You are in my thoughts and prayers often as each day unfolds with its challenges and hopefully, moments of good memories, laughter and a smile or two.

    1. Thank you, Skye. We do manage to laugh a bit and talk about inconsequential things each day. It isn't all sturm und drang as the Germans say.