My kid sister was in charge of clearing out the house, and I knew at the time that she was planning to have a sale of some sort, but she was overwhelmed. I filled a box with some of Mom's clothes, as well as some of my cast-off handbags that she'd liked. I thought removing a box of her stuff would help my sister feel as though some progress had been made in clearing my mom's home (yeah, that would still take months and months) and I'd planned on taking her clothes to the resale shop in her neighborhood (which suffered a devastating electrical fire and never reopened).
So that box of her clothes has been sitting in my den for nearly a year. Until today. When I packed it up and took it to Goodwill.
I estimate that the fair market value of these items is $42.75, so each of my sisters and I can declare $14.25 on our 2013 income taxes.
Some of the slacks still smelled like my mom's bedroom. I recognized the scent immediately. I remember how it felt for my mom to hug me.
But I didn't cry. I haven't cried. I'm not sad.
I am ready for this part of our relationship -- hers and mine -- to be over. The reverse mortgage company will go to court in early September, just after Labor Day, to take a major step toward taking legal possession of her home. Soon I'm going to close the books on the finances and cut my heinous older sister a check for about $700. And then it will be done.
I want to remember her as my mother. Not as a financial responsibility or a legal matter.
So today felt like a move toward healing.