Relics from the Past

Surprisingly, I haven’t missed my parents too much through this whole pregnancy process yet. I missed my mom during the time that Greg and I first began talking about having a baby. I definitely missed her then, missed talking to her about such a big life decision, about my fears and concerns about becoming a mother, about the anticipation of whether or not I would be at all.

But ever since I’ve been pregnant I haven’t thought too much about it. Perhaps I’ll miss her again when the baby comes and I’ll wish she were alive to do her grandmotherly duties of coming to stay with me for a week or so, but even that seems so far off that I’m not really thinking about it.

Lately I’ve felt incredibly removed from any sort of grieving for my parents. It’s just been so long that I can hardly imagine what it would be like to have them here, let alone celebrating my marriage and pregnancy.

That said, I spent a good part of yesterday arranging the details of shipping a storage unit I have in Los Angeles here to Chicago. The last time I saw the contents of this storage unit was 5 years ago when I packed it up following my father’s death. Inside are small pieces of furniture, family photo albums, some of my parents’ clothing, silver and china that belonged to my mother, art and family Christmas decorations. There should even be a box containing my baby clothes.

I am forever indebted to one of my dearest friends in the world who has graciously agreed to be there on Monday at the storage unit in CA to transfer my stuff to the moving truck. It will arrive here in Chicago in about 10 days. I cannot wait to see these things. I have no doubt that I’ll be flooded with nostalgia and probably some tears, sorting through it all.

Whereas most people my age have a family home to return to where they can be amidst the relics of their youth, all those familiar objects that make up one’s lifetime, all of those things for me have been in boxes for the better part of a decade.

After my mother died and my father and I dismantled our family home it all went into boxes. The dinner plates we ate off, the ornaments we hung on our tree, the photo albums depicting all our years together, the funny masks my parents bought in Mexico that used to hang on my bathroom wall as a child, a favorite sweater of my mother’s that I couldn’t bear to part with after her death, the baby book she kept from my birth up through my 18th year.

After she died all of that stuff went into boxes. Most of it remained there, even after my father settled in California. Whenever I would visit from New York I could never help but go out to the garage and sift through the items in these boxes, picking up pieces of my past, of my life together with my parents.

And in less than two weeks all of those things will be back in possession. I’m especially looking forward to seeing the baby stuff and I also can’t wait to decorate our tree this year with ornaments I haven’t seen since I was in high school.

On another note, this eloquent commentary by Keith Olbermann on Proposition 8 nearly brought me to tears.

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