Sunday, August 16, 2009

Been a busy day...

I've been filling boxes with things that Anthony left at my house when he passed away on June 6. I still have boxes of my mom's things from her house after she passed away in January. It really sets me thinking doing this twice in one year for people that I cared for. First with my mom, going through her clothes wasn't too tough although she had WAY too many. Going through boxes of things she kept, however, was hard. I don't envy my brother at all. He had to deal with so much more than I did. Some things were confusing. Who were these people in photographs or why did she keep this? We'll never know.

With Anthony, because his last few years were so difficult for him there wasn't a lot to go through. However, he'd just tried to consolidate all of this things at my place over his last few months to make it easier to rebuild his life. Sadly, that wasn't going to be an option for him but he was forever optimistic!

So, going through these things have really shed light on who he was and who my mom was, what each of them valued and who each of them cared for. Both them have had one thing in particular that have just stopped me in my tracks and given me a good cry.

Being a principal, I get school pictures taken every year. Every year since 1964 except for my college years, my mom would get a nice set of photos of unphotogenic me. When I was a little boy, I'd give them to her when I got home that day. I was slightly more photogenic then although that's debatable!

As I've gotten older, I've waited til I went home for the holidays to give them to her. It's always been the joke that I expected them to at least be displayed on par with my nephew Max's pictures. He's MUCH more photogenic.

A couple of years ago our school had cards made for the students that had their picture, some vital statistics and a "Missing or Exploited Children Hotline" phone number for parents to call should that nightmare happen to them. Well, I mailed mine to my mom and suggested in the accompanying note that before she called the hotline she might want to ask herself if I was missing voluntarily or if just maybe I was enjoying being exploited. She did mention that she got it and giggled along with the note along the bottom of the note blaming my sense of humor on her side of the family.

We found this note in her desk. She written the date she got it and put a smiley face next to the "your side of the family" notation. Yeah...I cried.

Anthony was different, of course. I have things to give to his family, to his close friends and other things I have no idea what to do with. The guy needed to clear his pockets out of change and clean (I hope) Kleenex once in a while! Every pair of pants, coat, and jacket had some of each. But in his box of papers, was a copy of a picture I had take of him in the snow. He'd written in his scrawl "First snow February 12 Thanks, Kevin!" Yeah...I cried.


Max's Dad said...

Great story. It's been a very difficult year for us all. I'm really glad I met Anthony and I'm really glad it snowed though at the time I wasn't so sure. Take it easy.

Project Christopher said...

While not two in such a short time, I know how you feel. Those moments jump out at you at the least expected time. My uncle Andy who was my mom's half-brother (different mothers) came to visit with his family last weekend. While we were waiting to get in to see Blue Man Group Andy turned to look at me when I called his name and for a split second I saw my mom's exact look in him. It caught me so off guard I couldn't pay attention to what he was saying for concentrating on not crying :) The pain will lessen, but the memories will become even more cherished.