Trash, Treasure, Donation

That is always the BIG question when I go to clean my mom’s “space” at the Care Center where she lives. I call it a “space” because unless you have the money for a private room, and there are only a few private rooms available, residents share rooms…and in reality the room space is just big enough for a hospital size bed, a hospital size closet, and a hospital three drawer bed side table. I actually got creative, and requested my mom’s bed be turned so the side of the bed is against the wall which allows room for a three shelf metal TV stand at the end of her bed that holds her TV, and any “extras”, she needs readily available to her, like bottles of water I bring up so she always has water…

Twice a year I remind my mom that “we” need to “clean out her space”. She always agrees but is also VERY reluctant to let me just get in there and get rid of things that “I” think” need to go…She always wants to be there when I start cleaning out her drawers, closet, or bed side table, saying “I don’t want you to throw away things that I really need. So, I always honor her request and go in with high expectations of getting rid of most of the “stuff” like seasonal art/craft things the residents make that I know she will remake in the new season…

Cleaning out my mom’s space may sound easy, and it should be…BUT…I have come to realize over the past four years that my mom has lived at the Care Center, that little things I look at and consider “throw away things”…sometimes have deep emotional meaning to my mom… For example: My mom has a small vase of green, silk, carnations, sitting on her TV stand that have been there for over two years…I was ready to get rid of them when she stopped me, dead in my tracks, saying “No, don’t ever get rid of those flowers…, those are the last flowers that Stephen (her youngest son, and my youngest brother) gave me before he died a year ago last October. Of course, those flowers will sit in their place of honor on my mom’s TV stand for as long as my mother lives…

But, still, there were many, many, things that we could get rid of, except every thing I held up to my mom and asked if we could throw this or that away or donate it …she almost always said…”well I better keep that because you never know when I’ll need it again…things like empty plastic containers she takes her pills from, little plastic cups they give her for water to swallow her pills… let’s just say there were many, many, many , of them tucked away in her drawers etc…

Thankfully for me, the day I was there to “clean mom’s space” was one of her shower days…so just as I got started really getting into the “deep clean”…mom’s aid came to take her to have her shower…so I sifted through the treasures that make up my mom’s life now, and didn’t throw away  or donate ANYTHING questionable without her permission after she returned to her room from her shower…but still, I ended up removing two large yard leaf bags of trash and donations from mom’s room… Things like this handy little tool which is great for picking up things off the floor…IF you are still able to squeeze the handle that allows you to grab the object…Mom can’t do that:


Or this witch hat from Halloween two years past…I think we can store this mom…thankfully, she agreed.


Well, now,… I have no complaints about anyone having a bag to carry their wine in…except this is not something my mom will be taking to the grocery store anytime soon…:)


And, this little treasure, has someone’s name inside it, someone who already passed, and it is at least four sizes larger than my mom needs…I think we can donate that right?


These are but a few of the many, many, various objects mom had tucked away. The bunny was from three years ago from a church group that came to visit…I’m sure she will get another bunny this Easter, and I can donate this one to Maggie’s Place where my daughter, Shantel and I volunteer.


This overnight bag is what both my mom and dad used whenever they had to go to the hospital…this has been sitting in my mom’s closet for over four years…she told me I can take it…but made me promise her I would always keep it,  because it is the last thing both she and my father shared…of course,  I agreed to keep it for her, and it is now housed in my garage with our other suitcases…


I also found this new bed blanket in the back of mom’s closet. Mom can’t remember where it came from, or why she kept it…but I was able to convince her that she has enough blankets on her bed so we could donate it to Maggie’s Place…


I also cleaned out five pairs of slippers (mom never wears slippers because she says they won’t stay on her feet) three pair of lace up shoes, and one and one half pairs of strap on sandles…where did the 1/2 sandal come from you might ask…? Well, it was attached to the artificial leg that belonged to my mom’s roommate, and my dear friend, Reha, who passed away this past year…OMG mom, I gasped!!! WHAT ARE YOU DOING WITH REHA’S LEG IN YOUR CLOSET? Mom looked at me like I had two heads and said…”I thought her family might want it back but they haven’t come back to get it”…I said, ” well, I don’t think they are going to need it for anything and we need to let the duty nurse know you have this right away” which I did…The duty nurse thought I was kidding her when I told her my mom has an artificial leg, that belonged to Reha, in her closet… but she did come to take a look and almost passed out when she saw I wasn’t kidding…she just wrapped the leg in a towel and carried it down the hall..I never saw the leg again and I never asked what she did with it…some things are better off left alone…right?

All my mom could say after the nurse took Reha’s artificial leg away was…”will you blow dry my hair now”? I did fix mom’s hair and all was right again in “her world”…

Keep me in your prayers and stay tuned!

2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. gotham girl
    Feb 02, 2013 @ 04:53:12

    Oh how hysterical about Reha’s leg!!!! I always keep you in my prayers! Love you more!!!


  2. Meg's
    Feb 04, 2013 @ 03:26:54

    I needed a good belly laugh!!!! Always in my prayers my Angel!!!!


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