Mental & Emotional Hoarding

I have been really on top of writing and posting new stuff the last couple weeks and while not a ton of people are reading it still makes me feel good. This is going to be part donation update and part personal commentary on something I realized this weekend. And because I like to be a tiny rebel when I can I am going to talk about the later before the former. ;)

Sunday my mom & I made the small drive over to the cemetery where my grandparents and one uncle are buried to remove the little decorations and plants we had put there for Memorial Day. On our way back we stopped by my grandparents house which is still up for sale and it happened my uncle was there so we stopped to talk. I walked the grounds because it had been a while since I was there and it was a place I spent a ton of time there growing up.

It’s always weird to visit places that hold big memories and see how they have changed. The boulevard where I used to run around and climb trees is now overgrown and full of down branches. The back barn where I used to watch my grandpa build so many different things or help take care of the chickens they raised is locked to even me and in less than perfect shape. Again it’s bizarre but they still resemble the pictures in my head.

When my mom and uncle went inside to check on a few things I refused to go in. I know my uncle has done some cosmetic things in the year since we have moved everything out and I don’t want to see them. The last time I was inside there were scattered boxes everywhere where of all the stuff my grandparents had owned and so it was not the house they lived in anymore really it still had their presence and essence. Now I know it doesn’t and I don’t want to know the house like that.

My mom is a physical hoarder of a sense, no where near the people you see on the TV shows but she has troubles letting go of things that are meaningful to her. I on the other hand and not too sentimental to things as I am to my mental images and memories. When both my grandparents were gone there was always the question going around, “Well what do you want?” And my mom and uncle had semi lengthy lists of objects they desired, my uncles wife seemed content with whatever he wanted, and their kid/grandkids didn’t want too much. I had a couple things; my grandmothers typewriter that I used to write my very first stories as a child, a few of her books from the massive collection I grew up admiring, a pair of my grandpa’s glasses because I remember being fascinated with them when I was little and kinda excited I could match him when I found out I needed my own, and for some odd reason his shoe horn/back scratcher combo that had taken my attention early on as a kid and was a frequent toy in my youth.

They aren’t massive or big deals on the surface bit they hold a lot of emotion for me and that’s how I deal. And that’s why I just won’t step foot in their house now, I don’t want new layouts or paint colors or carpets to replace my memories and mental pictures of the place that holds a sturdy place in my heart. I want to remember it just as it always was.

Same thing happened when my grandma was reaching the end of her journey. I have talked about it before but I was on vacation as she started to really turn bad and when I left it was said the risk of me having to come back early was a thing. And my mom called a few days in saying, “If you want to see her before you need to come back now.” and I said no.

It probably seems harsh but when I left she was still managing to walk, hold decent (kinda stilted) conversation, and she was in assisted living. I didn’t really care to see her struck to a bed in hospice and mostly out of it or unable to talk at all. I had done that with my grandpa and hated it. I prefer to have last memories be positive and familiar to how I always knew them.

Is that selfish? Yes.

But it’s how I came to learn that while yes I save a few mementos here and there to hoard for years upon years I am much more of a mental and emotional hoarder. I cling to memories and mental pictures to keep me company and comfort me over physical objects. I don’t think that makes me better or more enlightened but I do believe it is important to know these things about oneself.

And this all comes full circle to my latest donation for Project 25. Since May 24th was one year since my grandma passed & the 25th was two for grandpa I thought it was perfect time to donate to my local Hospice care facility. Both of my grandparents spent their last days at our local cottage and received some beyond excellent care there. I can’t really speak highly enough of that place and the workers they employ. Which means making a donation towards the Hospice Cottage was a very easy decision. 

I had to write a personal check because our local chapter doesn’t do online stuff so my proof is a little weak. It’s just a picture taken of the total and the memo line where I wrote it was for the Hospice.

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My brain is sorta still running wild with ideas for most posts and other donations I want to do for the month so I am sure you will hear from me soonish. Otherwise have a lovely week and start to June!

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