whatever is on my mind….

I heard her calling me….

I awoke this morning thinking I had heard my mother calling my name.  Some of you know that I have spent much of the last six months or so chronicling my Mom’s battle with cancer from my perspective as an only child and caretaker and all the roller coaster emotions, thoughts and feelings during that difficult and exhausting journey.

It has been about six weeks since Mother passed away and I have been putting off the task of going through her things and cleaning out the home she and my Dad shared.  I have made several attempts but the job is not only overwhelming in the amount of ‘stuff’ that has to be looked at piece by piece but everywhere I look brings memories flooding back to my mind.  Yesterday, DH and I made another attempt and actually made some progress by just concentrating on things that needed to go to the dumpster.  I want to have a garage sale at the end of this month to coincide with a community wide sale that brings out a lot of folks from here and surrounding towns as well.


Since she had always had a habit of hiding money, her ‘mad money’ as she called it, every thing needs to be look at carefully.  A couple of weeks ago my family gathered at Mom’s house after worship services.  We hid Easter eggs and the babies had a big time hunting them.    We cooked hamburgers on the grill and had a wonderful day.  When we were cleaning up the kitchen DD2 asked me if she could have her grandmothers toaster oven.  I told her yes and she took it home.  A couple of days later she called to tell me that she had found ‘the stash’.  She had decided to try out the toaster oven and needed to remove the tin foil that covered the bottom of the tray and wash it before using it.  When she removed the tin foil there were four 20 dollar bills and a 10 dollar bill that were shall we say a bit overdone…. 


Mother was born in 1929, so growing up in a family of nine children meant that there were a lot of very hard times.  Mother started at a very young age finding odd jobs to earn her own money and always had a little stashed away.  She kept that habit throughout her lifetime.  I know that there is no fortune hidden but it is a little like a treasure hunt when I look around her house and see the magnitude of ‘hidey holes’!





  1. Hugs Lura….I understand thinking you hear her calling your name. I have had that happen to me several times when I was sleeping and would come awake only to realize she was not there. I pray strength for you in the days ahead as you make your way through all the memories around you in her home. So thankful for the years that we have our parents and such a void is left when they make their final journey home.

  2. While I never had the experience you describe in the beginning of your post, I can identify with having to deal with all the household items. My parents were “pack rats,” a hold over from the depression. It was amazing what they hung on to. I think the oddest thing was a bird cage hanging in their garage. They hadn’t had a bird for at least 20 years. I actually kind of got a kick out of seeing it because it reminded me of simple, happy times teaching our parakeets to talk.

    • its amazing how little things bring back such big memories….

  3. marie butler burchfield

    I did not know of your mother’s passing. I am so sorry. I had run into her a few times over the past several years at Red Hatters’ event. She would always catch me up on Hedley news. She was a beautiful, kind lady. Fondest memories of her and your dad. My prayers for you and your family. marie butler burchfield

    • Thank you Marie that means a lot to me….

  4. FOH,

    What you described I experienced several times from my Mom after she died. I distinctly heard her tell me things. It was pretty cool since one of the times she saved my life from going off the road while driving and I fell asleep.

    Such a neat story about your Mom. Yes, so many things can bring back memories, some good, some not. It seems to me that in general I would have the good ones come on me in rolls overwhelming me and other times, just short spurts.

    One of the worst jobs for me and my only brother was cleaning out Mom’s things and then having a yard sale after we did what you did. It proved to be emotionally exhausting for both my brother and me. We would help pack or throw things in the trash, when suddenly we were hit with grief exhaustion so bad, we had to sit in chairs and allow our other family members do the work. We simply could not do it alone.

    I imagine you are not having the same problem however. Good for you. I had a hard time with the yard sale when someone would offer me less than the minimal amount for an item and I’d get angry and tell the buyer, “oh that item is not for sale”. It was really difficult giving away my Mom’s things.

    • It is definitely an experience unlike anything else I have experienced and it is difficult to explain…..

  5. We often seem tp push our parents away as we mature into independence; if we’re lucky, we bridge that gap again as we in turn become parents and we have grandchildren to share…and that allows us to build the relationship that will last and leave behind a permanent presence in our descendants lives after we’ve gone. I think girls and their mothers are a special case, sharing even more. And we’re all the better for iit…

    Thoughts like these make for even more certainty that the present push to dump the family from human society is ill-considered and destructive…

    • God and family are what holds me together, especially in these uncertain and scary times in our country….

  6. Noel Williams (prhayz)

    You are still grieving my friend, and it is OK to do so. It is not an easy thing to loose a loved one.

    • Grief is still with me but it changes for the better a little bit every day. I suppose every child, no matter what age feels a special emptiness when both parents are gone……

      • I’ts true we miss a parent especially, the living, breathing embodiment of security for much of our lives. It’s also said that a son becomes a man the day his father dies.

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