I found a piece of me this weekend!! Actually, I found thousands of pieces of me! Other than a security project and meeting on Saturday, this weekend was all about purging and getting the house ready for the upcoming Memorial pig roast for Tim. And purge I did for almost 15 hours thus far!!! The laundry room is once again a room for doing laundry as opposed to a storage room for any and everything I hadn’t wanted to deal with. The same is true for Tim’s workroom in the basement. If it fit… I threw it in there! But it was time to work through all that “stuff” I had dumped into the basement where I’ve spent very little time since Tim died.
The part of the purging project that took the most amount of time was sorting through the thousands of pieces of LEGO bricks that I own. If you know me well, you know that for the most part, I’ve avoided doing much with my LEGO bricks and classes, because it reminded me so much of the fun times Tim and I had building a variety of LEGO masterpieces. I instead switched to making LEGO fidget toys for Mom and other dementia patients. I asked myself why I stopped advertising and doing my LEGO and LEGO Serious Play classes. I knew the answer, and it was a guilt thing. Tim died in NY because we went there so I could teach LEGO classes as we tried out our retirement plan of living in our RV and working on the road. I’ve asked myself if I was so fixated on teaching my classes that I missed early signs of Tim’s strokes? The answer is no. I know I did everything I could with and for Tim in the last week of his life. I’ve finally forgiven myself of that guilt, and that allowed me to find a piece of myself this weekend that had been missing. As I sorted through all of the different colors and sizes of LEGO bricks, I felt a joy I hadn’t felt in a long time. And a warmth that felt almost like a hot flash (though I’ve never had one). I decided that “the warmth” was Tim giving me a hug and telling me that it was about time that I got back to one of the passions that makes me tick!
My purging resulted in four huge boxes and bags of trash and two more bags of items for Goodwill. I’m proud! I’m feeling more comfortable in the basement now, where Tim and I spent so much time in our 29 years in this house. Every LEGO piece is arranged neatly in a bin or container and I know where everything is!! I also turned Tim’s workroom into my LEGO studio, complete with Tim’s favorite bar stool where I can sit as I build my creations in my new special place! I know Tim is smiling!! Gone are the tools Tim used that I’ll give to his friends in the hope that they’ll think of Tim as they use them. In its place are LEGO masterpieces, including some that Tim put together and a lot of room for me to build new masterpieces and new memories!
This coming Friday, June 30th, will mark one year that Tim and I headed to Herkimer, New York for what we believed would be a joyous 30 days of fun! It was the last time he would ever leave our home. So early Friday morning, the Adventure Girls will mark June 30th by taking Memory Maker II to a different part of New York for the long holiday weekend. We will hang out for two days in Manhattan seeing all the sights, and spend the rest of the time relaxing and doing all the fun activities the campground has to offer. We can’t wait to make new memories, and we know that Tim will be by our side for each and every special moment!!
A beautiful post, Loretta; one that provoked my tears of recognition of the ongoing process of grief and of rejoicing in your forgiving yourself. Wonderful…
I also am struck deeply and movingly by your juxtaposed images of purging – involving separating, differentiating, and deciding to keep or to toss – and your finding something of yourself. How marvelous it is, I feel, in the quest to sort out something or something’s external that you, indeed, we all, I think, can discover or rediscover something internal about ourselves. Wonderful…
Love you and carry on!
Love you too Paul, and thanks!! I can’t tell you how great I feel today! My original plan was just to be able move enough stuff for me to be able to walk in the laundry and work rooms. And to purge all the things that need to be changed, thrown or given away. I hadn’t planned on changing the work room into a LEGO studio, but I could feel Tim saying not only was it ok, but it was a GREAT idea! I figured out not only did I need to forgive myself for all of the guilt I was carrying about going to NY last summer, I also needed to feel comfortable again in the basement if I’m going to continue to live in this house, which I am. I’m writing this from the LEGO studio as I listen to spa music on my phone app. I think It’s as good as I’ve felt since Tim died. Purging sounds like such a terrible word, but doing so this weekend feel freeing for me!
YAAAAAAAAASSS for purging and finding yourself!!!! I am SOOOOO proud of you!!!!
He is INDEED smiling!!!
I LOVE the LEGO studio!! The trash men will hate me but it feels great!! And YES he’s smiling!!! Looking forward to Friday!
I am really impressed with all of your organizing!! Hope you have a great weekend in NYC w/ the Adventure Girls. I will be thinking about all of you this weekend,
Thanks Heidi!! I’m really proud of everything I got done! I’ve been working so hard so I’m really Looking forward to relaxing!! It will be fun!!
I am so,so happy, Loretta, to see you reconnect with that special basement/studio so important to you and Tim. You have a rollicking fun time in NY with your Adventure Girls. And rest/sleep assured that your team here in DC and everywhere else is cheering for you and keeping you in our thoughts and prayers.
p.s. I’m way north of jealous about your phenomenal clearing out and /reshaping your space..
Love you Louise!! I can’t tell you how proud I am of myself and getting the studio set up, which was never in my original plan!!! I’m sure the trash man won’t be happy with me, but it should only be a one time thing!! I’m definitely looking forward to NY!!