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I will never be in that room again.

Dear Kim:

I spent a few days packing a lot of my folks' things this week.

Their move is not quite real to me yet. Everything has happened so quickly: My mother's heart attack, the decision to leave Chicago for New York. I have been so busy packing and making arrangements that my feelings have not yet caught up with my actions or list of tasks.

My dad is upset about the move and is finding it especially hard to go through his books and realize that he cannot take all of them to New York. I share a love of poetry with my father. Our dreamy fascination with language is something we share in common.,

The other day, my mother whispered to me, "If there is something you want, you should take it now. He won't miss it."

She tried to press a hard back copy of William Carlos Williams into my hand.

I don't know if he will or he won't. It is frustrating to search for a particular line or passage and reach for a book that is no longer there. You can feel like you are losing your mind.

My sister and I have been trying to play up the positive aspects of the move and the unloading of objects. Look at how freeing this is, we say. It is freeing to have less stuff. To have more physical space for your thinking.

Okay. There is something to that. But the other day, I realized that it also feels upsetting to be getting rid of some of their things.

Things are things. But they are also repositories of memories and for me, they have a certain amount of soul.

I was sitting in their living room one afternoon and felt sad realizing that in a few months, I will never be in that room again. And not with that painting or that tablecloth. Not with that swathe of light.

(Kim: I remember when we cleared out my parent's home. One of my sisters got physically ill as she drove away. It was tough for all of us siblings.

It was not different, though, when my parents moved from Chicago to La Jolla 25 years ago, than when they moved from La Jolla to the next world (dream on).)

Never again.

Later,

Joan

Friday, Feb 24, 2006

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