Escrow closes on my dad's house on Wednesday. Yesterday morning I felt like a student with a huge term paper to finish. I had a day ahead of me of cleaning out, piling up, sorting through and doing backbreaking work. I tell my students that the last 5% of anything is the hardest, and it certainly is with this project. Too much to be done, and it's so emotional! There's the painful interaction between my brother and me. There's the division of property between us, and the ensuing hard feelings. Additionally Jim and I attack things from different angles, and that becomes difficult. My brother's ten-year-old step-daughter wanted everything and couldn't have it. Nothing made her happy. She was hungry but didn't want to eat the 98 things I suggested. There was chaos and disorder and hard work. And I hate all those things! Yesterday we cleaned out the attic, emptied the garage, moved the fireproof safe, moved Brenna's and Dad's cars, made a huge pile of trash, and sponged out the kitchen drawers. Today I sold Mom's baby-grand piano to a woman who teaches in my school district. One more thing off the list. What's remaining? The trash hauled away, the papers notarized, the house cleaned and the utilities turned off. Thank God the end is in sight!
As bad as it is for me, it's even more difficult for my dad. He knows it's the end of an era. He and Mom built that house, and lived in it for 20 years. He says "It's like closing a door."