Purging A Family Home; A Story of Regret

When I am working with people and they show me stuff from their grandmother or grandfather, I immediately get teary eyed. All I have from my grandmother is her recipes and some costume jewelry.

A few years ago, after my grandmother’s fifth heart attack, it was decided that she could not live alone and needed to be in a nursing home. Home care wasn’t an option since she didn’t like people in her home and was very particular about how things were done. Gee, I wonder who got those qualities as well!

My Mom and her sister decided to take on the task of cleaning out her home. This place had so many special memories in it. I knew I should have flown up and helped with the process. My mom felt that they could do it themselves. Hindsight is 20/20!

I asked for my grandmothers recipe book. I loved her chicken soup and was hoping that she also had the family perogi recipe. I also asked for her costume jewelry and any purses. Since I was the oldest grandchild, I thought I deserved the silver. My mom agreed. My grandmother had a set of china as well. I thought it was only fair that my sister get the china, since I had our other grandmothers china (we play fair). I also wanted some glassware in the basement.

A month later, I recieved a box from my Aunt. It contained a bunch of crap. I did get the costume jewelry and recipes. I had to laugh because she had written down the brisket recipe six times. She always thought it was my favorite-not the chicken soup. I got a set of glasses that I don’t know where they came from. The silver didn’t make it. The glassware from the basement didn’t either. My aunt didn’t have an answer.

I think my Aunt sold the glassware and silver. It just vanished. She would not talk about it. For some unknown reason, I got a few pieces of it. Also missing were the family pictures, including my mom’s wedding portrait and a beautiful picture of her and her older brother as little kids. I am sure those pictures are in a dumpster somewhere.

I told my mom, as she found things to pack them up and get them out. My Aunt doesn’t have sentimental feelings and is quite the tosser. I helped her downsize the year before and she through away a ton of stuff- donate and give away to family is not in her book!

I hate it when I am right. In the end, my mom and I were heartbroken. The moral of this story, don’t trust family members to have your interests when you are clearing out the family home. Everyone needs to participate.

Lessons learned.

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