Monday, November 15, 2010

Louis: I have your teddy-bear!

An interesting weekend: about 300km to my late mother’s place to see what still needs packing and clearing. I told my brother he can have whatever he wants: turns out that was everything but the junk. I’m grateful for it. It was bad enough going into the emptiness of the house, emptying it would have been worse.

My brother says that all that stuff had ‘sentimental value’, but oddly I found family photographs and his first teddy bear among the sad heaps of detritus – so the cynic in me says that intrinsic value had more to say in the matter. I am doubtless a bad person with a nasty mind.

Anyway, it shrugworthy. I didn’t want the stuff and I was glad to be absolved of ridding myself of it. Oh, and I’ve got my brother’s teddy bear...(Lets fly with evil laugh: ‘Mwahahahaha!’)

I’m glad I didn’t go alone. There were ghosts, albeit benign ones, at every turn. I kept expecting to hear the dogs in the yard and my mother calling ‘Bring your ball!’ Memories of my last stay – her illness, the little plastic bag of toiletries that was returned to me at the hospital on the night she died. I didn’t cry. One does not cry over baby powder – not even if one spills it.

It was good to leave again. I drove – perhaps a little fast – home to the dogs and the cats and happier thoughts. On Sunday, I listened to Dio and slept.

Today's pic - some more of the Outeniqua mountains - I'm relying on PAMO to tell us how it relates to this post.....


  1. Wistful memories so beautifully written. I experienced the same feeling of benign phantoms when once house-sitting with my bed-ridden mother. As she lay in her bed, feverishly muttering strange incantations, I became aware of the history entwined and absorbed in the bric-a-brac and furniture. I fancied it was whispering to me.

    I'm so glad Teddy has gone to such a caring, generous person.

    All hail the mighty Outeniquas! Beautifully captured.

  2. You pretty much described my last visit to my mother's home and years later to my sister's

    I hope the dogs gave you big sloppy kisses when you got home and that the cats ignored you as only they can ;)

    thanks for stopping by my place

  3. Good Morning or Evening to you Andrea, I am never sure where the sun is when it disappears from here! I have for much of my life made my living building bigger houses for people to accommodate their possessions. I don't think I have ever built a bookcase nor a perch for a teddy bear!

  4. How much ransom do you think you can get for the teddy bear?

  5. Listened to DIO ? You're cooler than I thought !!!

  6. I absolutely love the title of your post! I like Grant's line of thinking... ransom. Tell Louis your Mom hid treasures inside, that might be interesting.

    As for your gorgeous photo- well, yes, I do see meaning.
    The photo signifies hope breaking through a time of turbulence. The home you've made for yourself is a haven of safety and a fortress against negative influences. And yet, barriers still exist as signified by the not so daunting fence and the looming blue mountainside. I could go on but I'll spare you.
    I guess it could just be a pretty picture, but it has depth and complexity just like you.

  7.'re a good person with a beautiful mind. Family does what it does, but I think you got the best of the deal. When my mom could no longer take care of herself, my younger sister packed her off to live with them; but she didn't take her two cats which made me cry, and only took what could fit into a suitcase. A year later the house sold, but the owners agreed to save the JUNK for me to go through. NO ONE in my family wanted any of it, so we flew across the US and I packed everything I thought I might want in one day, and we mailed it all back to our home. Husband was a gem. He carted tons of boxes to the post office that day. Funny thing...I waited a year to go through all the boxes and half of it I tossed. A fourth I kept, and the other fourth were things I knew mom would want and I mailed them to her, much to my brother-in-laws anguish. Mom and I have all the photos and little momentos and that's what really counts; and I needed closure after dad's death and mom's moving. You have a great place to heal, and all those wonderful pets. You totally rock as a person...and oh, yes, I took the sentimental things of my younger brother, even though he never wants to be part of my family now, so no evil laugh from this corner. Take care.

  8. When people say it's not about the money, it's the principle--it's about the money. So it is with your brother. And I anticipate the same with my brother when my parents die.

  9. Hello, Ronald. I think I remember reading a post you wrote during that time. It was one of the most beautifully written pieces I've ever come across. The Outeniquas never lose their wonder. I'm going up there this summer for sure!

    Dianne: You bet I got sloppy kisses! I was also presented with a sopping wet ball to throw and the cat showed his annoyance with me for going away by giving me a dose of claws.

    Stonepost: You hit the nail on the head! I don't WANT a bigger house, so I'm glad I won't need to take care of all those things. The teddy will perch on the bed, and there's always room for books :) In terms of time, I am six to eight hours ahead of you. Tuesday, for your information, is not too bad.

    Grant: I'm working on it, must first perfect the husky voice for the ransom phone call.

    Heff: Yes. Dio is nice, relaxing music for a Sunday.

    PAMO: I can always rely on you to find the words! Yes, yes, how did you know? That's what it was about! I unintentionally and accidentally intended it to mean exactly what you say! Glad you caught the menace in my title... Dash it all! I could be good at menacing if I made a bit more effort. Thanks for your continual encouragement. I shall become insufferable at this rate!

    Clipped Wings: Thanks for sharing your story. I'm glad you were able to rescue all the 'worthless' treasures. I know the feeling of not wanting to throw a thing away because it has memories. I'll probably become more discriminating later. I'm sure your mom was thrilled to see her things again - reliving all the memories anew. Good for you for bringing her that happiness.

    Anonymous: I must say, I agree with you. A lot can be explained by looking at the bottom line.

    hwfarber: You like it? Its yours! :)

  10. Mm why do I feel that your words barely break the surface of your feelings?
    Your brother has much to learn from you. I do hope he makes every effort to do just that.
    May your Mother rest in eternal peace.

  11. Chez: she will, I believe. I'm doing everything I can to fulfill her last wishes - next up a trust account for his handicapped daughter's education. Her pets are happy, and in dying, she saved my life. Wonderful woman that she was, this would content her.

  12. Mm have noticed that your star sign is Scorpio which means you have a birthday sometime around now. Are you going to share the date with us? I had a question to ask and wonder if you may send your email address to me at
    Many thanks Chez