While I usually look forward to going home for Thanksgiving, this year I wasn't so ready for our annual trip.
That's because I knew that the day before we had a big job in front of us...clearing out Kathy's house. Ian arranged for some of our friends down there to meet us later in the afternoon to help load furniture onto the truck, giving us the morning hours together in the house. I arrived before Ian and slowly walked through, crying and taking pictures in each room as standing there made me feel a bit closer to her. Then Ian arrived after going to the bank and I cried some more, this time with him.
Eventually the tears dried and we got to work. The first several hours we worked quietly, chatting about how certain pieces reminded us of his mom, deciding what we wanted to keep and what would bless someone else if donated.
It was mournful and emotional and yet beautiful at the same time.
Around mid-day Mom and Traci showed up with the kids. Having them show up was a welcome break from the emotional task at hand.
They miss their grandma dearly.
But they are kids.
And there is great joy in a tire swing and teddy bears and just being together.
And while playing with them in the backyard set us back on the packing schedule, her grandchildren provided a breath of fresh air in the afternoon.
I suspect that Kathy was smiling down as we got the gang back up into her treehouse one last time, there was plenty of evening left after they headed back to Mom's for us to finish up our chore.