The garage is hard because it is filled with memories of my mom and of the many painful times we endured the last 14 years of her life. I'd typed up a whole thing, but then my phone deleted it and I cried. The long and short of it is my dad lost his job my senior year of HS, his epilepsy became uncontrolled, and his mom got sick and we were told she would die within three months (all at the same time). She ended up living six more years during which my parents spent my dad's entire inheritance caring for my gma as she died, my regularly stay-at-home mom had to go to work, and my siblings didn't get the same childhood I had. In 2012, their house was unlawfully foreclosed upon by a predatory lender (they had my parents turn in paperwork every month for their refinance, while they (the lender) went forward with foreclosure proceedings) and then she died suddenly in 2016. I had moved out of state in 2010 and had only seen her a handful of times. Thanksgiving 2015, my husband and I flew my parents and siblings out to visit us. It was the last time I would see her. We had just bought a house, both our cars were totaled in a water main break two weeks later, and we'd miscarried our first child in August. The story is longer, but that's enough for now. One of the things we always did together as a family was decorate the Christmas tree. My mom had five giant boxes of ornaments ranging from beautiful antique bulbs to ornaments we made in school to Carl's Jr stuffed stars. One year we had a tree so big we used all the ornaments and the back of the tree was STILL bare! I think that was the biggest tree we'd ever had. The boxes were worn and stained, but I didn't have the heart to toss them. Then I had the idea to turn them into Christmas ornaments: little boxes with red ribbons to give my dad, sister, brother, myself, and one for my daughter for when she's bigger. Last night, I finally cut them up and put them into a container to deal with later. When I cut into the ends, I found two layers of cardboard behind that hadn't seen the sun or dirt. They will be perfect for the ornament boxes. It will be wonderful to open the ornaments every year and remember her. If you made it to the end of this, thank you for taking the time to read it. I miss her.

Posted by Aimee Martineau at 2022-03-20 19:57:24 UTC