|1918 Mother age 3|
My mother died on November 5, 2005 at age 91. She had broken her femur when it gave out due to severe osteoporosis. It was non-operable so she went from the hospital to a rehabilitation facility to a skilled nursing care facility, never returning to her home. As I was her designated power of attorney and executrix, I had the duty of cleaning out and selling her home, and taking care of the rest after her death. Thank goodness I had her attorney to guide me through it all for several years. It was a very difficult and heart-rending time for me.
Ten years have passed. The time to destroy the extensive amount of paperwork and cards I have saved all these years has come. Because of a huge multitude of papers that have personal information, our small house shredder has been put to work with the help of the Mister. Since our area has no large shredders available to the general public, but does have a recycling center, we have bit the bullet and started the project. What has personal information is shredded, the rest is put aside for recycling to be taken and dumped at the center. I sort, he shreds. We have just begun. Our living quarters are small to begin with and the storage of it all takes up an immense amount of space that has been needed for other items through the duration.
Mother was a “saver” and a “keeper” and an “organizer.” I spent all day today going through the greeting cards and there were thousands! I remembered that, in the past, I had sent card fronts to an organization to be re-used, and found the necessary information to do this. If anyone out there wants ever to recycle greeting cards, and help St. Jude’s Ranch for Children, I highly recommend this organization. Now they are listed on the internet with all of the information necessary.
It’s a good thing I have a quality table top paper cutter, that I have used for a very long time in my personal craft projects. I know I wouldn’t have been able to cut the cards by hand because of the high volume. First I have to read them all, of course! I have found family pictures and ancestor information that I wasn’t aware of before. I saw and understand that she had hundreds of personal friends through her church, Eastern Star Order and hospital affiliations. She was a cancer survivor for decades. Family and neighbors had always sent cards during the past, even her mailman! There were Christmas, birthday, Thanksgiving, Easter, Mother’s Day and get well cards. Oh! So many! The reading, sorting and cutting is finished today. According to the rules for reuse, I had to eliminate any that were from American Greetings, Hallmark and Disney. I had to eliminate any that had writing on the inside of the front cover. About half of them had personal written notes there. The fronts on many were especially chosen to be sent to her. There were cats, kittens, birds and flowers. She love them all. Nevertheless, I ended up with a large boxful ready to ship.
We will be working on the remaining three milk crates full of file folders and paperwork for several more weeks, to be sure, before the job is finished. It has been a strong reminder of how much she was respected and loved by many and what a GOOD and EXCEPTIONAL woman she was throughout her entire life to the end.