So that’s how at the end of June I found myself taking care of him.
He had only been here for a couple of weeks when in early July we received an unexpected request to rent his house. We were not prepared for this in the least.
My mom passed away in 2000 and at that time the sisters had all taken different knick knacks of my mom’s and my eldest sister’s that we cherished. My sister had passed away in 1995 and my mother had many of her things, including her jewelry.
My father, being elderly and not really understanding how things work acted as if it were not a big deal. I knew better.
I went to his house for eight days straight cleaning 4-8 hours a day, depending on the day and what else I had going on. My sister came in for four of those 8 days to help. We hired a woman to help us one day with some heavy scrubbing and I took the kids to help me on another day to move out all the trash.
My parents were Jehovah's Witnesses so they had Watchtowers from the 1940s and almost every convention program from the 1940s through the 1990s. My father had even added some from the 2000s in there for good measure.
There were some items that we found that meant more to my sister, because they reminded her of things that happened before I was born and before I even existed.
The letter is such a telling tale of how well my mother knew my sisters. She gives each one of them advice on how to act while she was gone and as she addresses each one she points out their challenging personality traits. For example she tells my sister, who was the youngest at the time, “don’t be jumping around like a monkey and don’t hurt yourself like you often do.” My sister cracked up laughing when she read it.
Now that the house was clean it brought back so many memories of my mother. As I cleaned each room it reminded me more and more of the feeling in those rooms when she was alive. I knew that she would have been very happy to know that we were helping my dad and I think she would have been happy that we were renting the house to our front door neighbor's daughter. She always like them a lot.
Before she died my mother made me promise that I would take care of my dad. No doubt she knew what a challenge that would be and she had a feeling he would live a long life, unlike her. I know I’m not the perfect daughter, but I’m doing my best, and I think my mom would be happy knowing that.