Last is correct. But long is not the right word, at least physically. Emotionally, perhaps. Mentally, sure.

Regardless, today I finished up taking the last of mom’s items from her condo. A cabinet. A planter. A patio chair and ottoman as old as dirt and containing plenty of it (and cat hair and cigarette smoke and what-not). Not a lot, but the small load was the last notes of the soundtrack to clearing her residence for the new tenants.


The Clampets ain’t got nothin’ on me.

In each measure of this move-out, I’ve felt guided. Some would understand this as a presence of sorts, but it’s different than that. I don’t feel my mom so much as I see signs, notice things she’d like or find funny, or have pretty profound arrangements happen.

Take today’s load — fittingly and deliberately arranged as it was. So with mom’s Jeep (at right) already filled on the inside, I had to strap the patio chair and ottoman to the top. I went back to the condo to say bye to the tenants (also friends of ours — a great arrangement in itself, but that’s another story). When I came out to the parking lot, I couldn’t help but see the similarity between the top-loaded Jeep Grand Cherokee and the Beverly Hillbilly truck when they loaded it up for the “move to Beverly … Hills, that is.

And of course, given the circumstances, I pictured a younger version of my mom sitting up there on top pf the car, not unlike Granny Clampet in her rocker atop the Clampet’s truck. See, now that’s something that mom would get a hoot out of.

I drove out of the complex, but an accident diverted me through the nearby mall. No biggie, right? Right. But I just so happened to drive by a Goodwill drop-off trailer parked in the mall parking lot. Peculiar — it’s not usually there. So I circled it and arrived at the obvious — this was where I was supposed to drop it off.

So I did.

The cabinet. The planter. The patio chair and ottoman as old as dirt and containing plenty of it (and cat hair and cigarette smoke and what-not).

We’ve gone through the remnants and taken to our house that which we want to keep. We’ve done our best to disperse (for lack of a better word) other things in the best way possible. Friends have kept some things. A half-hearted estate sale has scattered other items to the world. A few loads to the local thrift store unloaded many things that could have sold, but I simply didn’t have the energy to make that happen, opting for the pragmatic act of giving things away instead. A couple boxes to sell later occupy the garage. And a disheartening and disappointing auction took care of most of the rest. It’s hard to part with a lot of it, but it’s memories that are dear, not the accouterments. That fact doesn’t make if much easier.

Finely arranged “coincidences” such as today’s events do make it easier though. I can’t help but believe that mom or other ancestors helped arrange today final haul. Of a difficult situation, this was perhaps the best I could have asked for.

Thanks, everyone, for your kindness.