Monday, March 4, 2013

I never have to do that again...

My big resolution for 2013 (or we could call it a “goal,” I don’t really like “resolutions”) was to have no more rooms containing boxes in the Pink House.  After two years, I don’t think that was really too overambitious.

On Friday, my mom came over to help me tackle it, by motivating me to do the last room, the office.

Now, I want to say something in my own defense.  This was no ordinary office.  It contained boxes that hadn’t been unpacked, or even looked at, since the condo.  It contained stuff of Sawan’s that I hadn’t seen, boxes full of emotional landmines.  I needed to open up the file cabinet and box up the old files to be kept for tax purposes for a couple more years, stuff with his handwriting on it, stuff that he had just “stashed.”  After he’s been gone for three and a half years, I finally felt ready to face it, mostly because I could no longer handle my hoarder style filing system and want to move on, so that I can get my taxes done for this year.

I steadily moved through the stuff.  I was prepared for it to be an emotionally taxing day.  I thought I mostly knew what I was going to find. 

There was a basket that we had kept by the door, his sort of “catch-all” full of jewelry, change, pocketknives, his AA chips.  I threw things away that were trash, kept the things that I wanted, and when I finished, I thought, “I never have to do that again.”  I cried, but I mostly felt good about it.

Then, I found our financial planning binder.  In the front pocket was a sweet little note in my handwriting, “Baby, here’s how the monthly payment broke down.  I love you.”  And in his handwriting, the form filled out for his life insurance, which he went as far as to even have the exam for, but never signed the paperwork.  I have never been as angry as I was on Friday.  I sobbed.  I wanted to throw things.  I have been angry about this particular issue a lot in the past three years, but seeing the actual papers made me feel it in such a tangible way.  I guess you could say that it’s a good thing he’s already dead (and, the fact that I’m able to make a joke about it, already, only three days later, means I’m starting to do a little better).

In spite of all of the pain, there were love letters from me that he had kept, and it was so good for me to see, in my own handwriting, how much I loved him.  He was an amazing man.  He was full of flaws, human, like all of us, I guess, but I really loved him.

I only got about 60% of the office completed, but the rest should just be the filing that has not gotten done in the last three years because I was afraid of my filing cabinet.  So, it won’t be emotionally charged and should be tedious but not overly taxing. 

Here’s to no more rooms with boxes in the Pink House!  Hip!  Hip!


  1. I'm so proud of you! And what treasures, finding love notes that he cherished. One of my favorite things was finding that big Blake had saved almost everything I had ever written him. For an unsentimental man, that was DEEPLY romantic, and discovering that brought solace to my soul. After I washed the soul down with many, many tears first. I love you - well done, Noey!

  2. going thru the stuff is never easy... i packed up my condo a couple of months ago... i got thru a lot but i am sure there will be more to go thru on the other side as it still is in storage...hopefully you can enjoy your room peacefully now!