Today was the first day of the estate sale for my mother’s house. We aren’t selling the house, just many of the contents. My parents had oodles and oodles of things — many of them collectibles that worked in that house because of its size, but which Eddie and I can’t accommodate in our homes. And then, after my father died, people who loved my parents both gave my mother exquisite pieces — crystal, Lladro figurines, work by Denis Knight and Jessica Maycock and Lillian Blades.
These things went on sale today. The sale was scheduled to begin at 8:30 this morning, and people were at the house by 8:00. When I got there — right at 8:30 (the sale was being handled by Jay Koment, a premier art and antiques dealer) — there were people waiting to get in.
I have to say, I was apprehensive to say the least. Letting these things go wasn’t easy. Pieces that we were clearing out have memories, and I wanted to feel as though those memories are being shared up among the people who knew and loved my parents. My father’s favourite chair — to a cousin who loves it. My mother’s favourite — to a former student and lifelong friend. My father’s music books — to his pupils, that sort of thing.
I needn’t have worried. One of the first things someone said to me, after asking how I was handling the sale (and the answer was I was handling it perfectly well, thank you, until that very moment that I saw all the people and knew it was time to let things go), was that so many of the people who had arrived bright and early were there because they knew and loved my parents and they wanted to have mementos of them. That made me happier. Much happier. And then the people who bought the things that mattered most to me were people who knew my parents and loved them, and so it was all good.
We do it again tomorrow, and then it’s time to start work on the house.
All, all part of the process of letting go.