Sunday, February 18, 2007
We all choose to honor out ansestors in different ways. Some visit thier graves regularly, some build elaborate alters.
The dissolution of my family has bothered me for many years. It seems as though it began with the passing of my great grandmother and Joe in 1995 (it was disfunctional long before that) and it was definately sped along by the death of my grandmother.
When my father went to jail the first time after her death, I was the one who took him to the courthouse. He called me at work and told me that I was the only one he could trust. It was at that time that he gave me power of attorney so that I could take care of things while he was incarcerated. I was supposed to live in the house, but couldn't. that's a story for another day. As we drove there, I think he believed that he would get off with a warning. The judge was not feeling altogether friendly towards him that day and threw him in. I hope you never have to experience the pain of watching your father led away in handcuffs.
I took the opportunity while he was gone to salvage a few things from the house. He had told me to take them, for safe keeping, although he denys that now. I wish I could have taken more, but I didn't like going there. I grabbed what I could. The rocking chair that belonged to my great great grandmother. The one my sister wants to rock her babies in. My grandmother's wooden clogs, remnants of her childhood living with her father in a Dutch Colony in Iowa. (someone used them as an ashtray) and China. one box and one large bin of china. I wasn't able to take it all. It was the rest of the china that we wanted from the storage unit, along with the antiques. Much of the China was gathered overseas during World War II. Some of it from Occupied Japan. This was my family legacy since Daddy spent all the money and cashed in all the stocks.
When the fires raged through San Diego County in 2003, when I could clearly see the flames and my electricity was out, I packed up my critters, the china, rocker, some clothes and pictures and left. I stayed at C's house in the valley. The heirlooms went where I went that week.
It all stayed in boxes. I moved it several times but never had a place for it. It has always bothered me. I feel as though my grand and great grand parents are unhappy with the way things went. The Ma is turning in her grave and if GG and joe had graves (creamated) they would be turning back flips. They used to make thier presence knowing in the house. They are not unhappy that I had not unpacked the china, it's everthing else.
Today I brought home a china cabinet. I finally found one at the right price. the REALLY right price. I spent the day washing dishes and filling it up. When I was done, I finally felt as if I had done something to honor their memory. I finally felt peace. It is the peace you feel when you know that you have done the right thing. I know it's just stuff. I know that my ansestors are not really spiritually attached to it. I hope that they're drinking beer, smoking cigarettes and talking shit in the afterlife. Something in me says they aren't. But something also tells me that I did something today that makes it a little more right.
there is an undenyable relief in it.