All of my son’s things are in a storage unit. I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to go through it. For now, his dad and I pay the fee every month. Once in a while, his brother will go and check on his things, maybe “borrow” some shoes or hats. I said that eventually, , we will go through it…some day. We will divide things up among his siblings, best friend, his girl friend, and the rest to charity. I don’t know, though, when that time will be. For now, I am just fine paying the hundreds of dollars per year to keep his possessions stored. Maybe one day, I’ll know when the time is right. If that time ever comes.
Joey was always borrowing our carpet cleaner. He used it far more than we ever did since 95 percent of our home is tile and his house saw a lot of traffic with his baby dog, Leo. When his items were placed in storage, our cleaner was among those things. I wasn’t a part of the “move” so I had no idea it had been placed in there. I only remember needing to safely store all his memories, but I couldn’t bear to do it myself. My brothers, his best friend and my son had the painful duty of doing that. I wanted everything stored..EVERYTHING. Do not get rid of anything…not even his toothbrush.
In the middle of our living room, there is a large throw rug. In the first few weeks after his passing, it saw a lot of traffic. You could see that the once vibrant colors were now dingy and dirty. I told my husband that it was time to clean it. I would ask my daughter-in-law if I could borrow hers or I would just rent one of the grocery store ones. My husband kept insisting that we just needed to get ours from the storage. I would change the subject. Every time the it was brought up, I made excuses…too far, too inconvenient, too tired. Then one day, without my knowledge, my husband called Sarini.. my son’s girlfriend and they made arrangements to meet at the storage place to get it out of the unit. When he called me later that day to give me the “good news”, I felt sick to my stomach. I got angry! How dare he remove something from the sacred area! It was like a knife in my heart. I felt betrayed.
I can’t explain why. In a way, I felt that by removing it from the storage, it meant we were taking it away from his memory, we were taking it away from Joey. It’s a stupid rug cleaner that was ours anyway, for crying our loud. But somehow and for some insane reason, it hurt me deeply.
I knew that when my husband brought it home later that day, it was not going to be pretty. I would have to explain my pain and my disappointment. I would tell him that he broke a sacred bond by removing this inanimate object. Yes, I know it’s just a carpet cleaner and yes I know it was ours. But, he had it last. He would look at me strangely, shake his head and tell me he was only trying to help. I would have to explain that this machine was going to be a constant reminder of him. As silly as I might have sounded, it was still painful and heart wrenching.
When he brought it in that evening, I cried. He looked at me and without saying a word, took it right back out and stored it in our garage. He came back inside and said “I’m sorry. I didn’t think. We can by a new one.” I smiley weakly at him. No, I said…then I feel as if I am replacing him. He smiled, shook his head and kissed me on the forehead.
One day….Some day…Maybe