My parents are gone, but I still have their things. A plate, a chair, a matchbook, a sweater, an old cell phone. Something of them lives on in this stuff. Send a picture of an object and tell me what it does to you and how it makes you feel about your mom and dad, dead or alive. Then go clean up your room. Thank you
A few years ago, editor and author George Hodgman moved back from Manhattan to Missouri to help out his willful 92-year-old mother, still living in his childhood home. In his new
memoir, Bettyville he writes about hiding her shoes in his closet. They were old and ugly and so worn out that they made her trip and he was scared she'd break a bone. But when he saw how much she missed them he returned them to her. In a world falling apart before her eyes, those shoes were comfortable and familar.
Next time you think you're doing your parents a favor by cleaning up the clutter in their home or throwing out a favorite piece of furniture (as I once did with an old recliner in the den of the ancestral suburban home) think again. You parents willl tell you what they need. You just have to listen.