Aging Parents: Selling Parents’ Home

There’s going to be a moving/estate sale next weekend. 70+ years of things to go through and clean out. People running the sale come tomorrow. It feels like the locusts are going to descend and I need to take anything of value–sentimental or otherwise–to a safe place.

It has been a long while since my parents died. My brother and his dog have lived in the home for around 10 years. It’s the home we grew up in. And in spite of any problems we no doubt had in those days, we only remember what a great and secure growing up it was–in a neighborhood full of kids and parents who made certain we had something to do on the rainy weekends when we weren’t in school.

The dads kind of traded off–trips to the zoo, the Portland Beavers baseball games, and home movies–the latter on the rainy winter weekends. We had vacant lots to play in and make huts out of the weeds. The photo I found of the boys’ club house (“No Girls Allowed” on the sign in front) is used on a previous post. When I have a moment I’ll find it and put in the link–but not tonight,

I found the picture of Dad’s old girlfriend. I’d seen it once before–many years ago when he was talking about his college days–before he met Mom. I forgot she was a nurse until I saw the photo of her in a nursing outfit–a pretty girl with her nurse’s cap atop her blond hair.

It was a surprise to find Mom’s college yearbook. She went 2 years to college as many females did in those days. I tried hard to find her picture and was only partly successful–in the place they had pictures of the girls in the dorms. I couldn’t remember her dorm–she didn’t speak much of her college days (Dad was just the opposite in that regard). Then suddenly I saw “Kidder Hall”–and that sounded familiar. Her name was there as a freshman–but, alas, no photo.

The most frustrating part was looking at photos of people with no names to identify them. I wonder what children of today will find in the way of photos when their parents are gone? Will parents will their smartphone, computer or whatever to one child or to all children so they can view the camera roll?

My brother had the good sense to leave town a few days ago, leaving me to go through everything by myself. Exhausting but also a way to have an intimate kind of closure. A cousin offered to help, but I liked sifting through things and stopping to read this or smile at that–without interruptions.

Tomorrow the locusts descend at 10 am. I still don’t have everything of value in a safe spot. I’m thinking I may not ever get to everything, what then? Hmmmmm. I guess that’s why we find some really good bargains at those estate/tag/moving sales.

2 thoughts on “Aging Parents: Selling Parents’ Home

  1. Thankfully, my brother and I shared the task of going through my mother’s things…..Mom had her remaining things completely organized, something I think we both appreciated…..

    …..I took home the box of pictures, which remained packed away for another thirteen years.

    When my mother-in-law passed away…my husband “inherited” another box of pictures. He divvied them up into five big piles—one for himself, one for his brother, one each for his two sisters, one for the trash.

    I agree with what you said: “The most frustrating part was looking at photos of people with no names to identify them.” And also, as you did, I wondered: “What will children of today find in the way of photos when their parents are gone?” (since all the pictures seem to be saved by the gazillions on their various devices).

    In the light of my caregiving experience, and with the hope that my children will not have to face avoidable stress, I have pledged that I will not leave my children the burden of my messes (such as boxes of pictures). Therefore, I spent a number of months making picture books to document the history of both sides of our family.

  2. Pingback: Aging Parents: Selling Parents’ Home | What to Do about Mama?

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