Months To Years Spring 2018 Months To Years Spring 2018 - Page 6

Her Things by Alice B. Fogel stuff, a long, full lifetime of it. It is often dusty. I’ve washed Among the topics related to death that we don’t hear just about everything. I’ve repeatedly filled my car with enough about is this one: Things. At least, I know I never clothing, accessories, kitchen and housewares, books, art, did. Now when I look back, I realize that throughout these and all sorts of other things—all expressing to me some weeks since my mother died, I have literally touched every aspect of who she was, her nearly boundless curiosity and single thing in her home. I have even handled, in that engagement in life. I’m taking so many of these carloads other sense of the word, the abstract “things” of her life, to the nearby Goodwill, that I’ve gotten to know Michael, like financial and legal matters. Every single action, chore, the wall-eyed man who works there and once did an and obligation required after her death represents her, is Outward Bound program at Dartmouth; he noticed my inseparable from her interests and the phases of her life, New Hampshire plates. I’ve examined, photographed, and is inseparable from my relationship to her and her researched, and priced dozens of pieces of her things, things. They are her history and mine. Everything I have many of which were taken away to new homes in the tag been doing in these difficult weeks has let me hold onto sale I held. I’ve thought about all the people who knew her life just a little bit longer, and has also made me face her—her children and grandchildren, her cousins and the fact of her death. sister-in-law and nieces and her many old friends—and which objects they might like to have of hers, and I’m I pick up and hold, clean and consider, each object, from putting them into their hands. the tiny pencil sharpener she used for her eyebrow pencil,   to the carefully chosen, now slightly shabby, furniture she There has been necessary work to do involving certain decorated her spaces with, and I remember or imagine its things beyond moving objects imbued with her, from the story from when it was in her hands— and then I decide lowly to the lofty. I got down on my hands and knees on its fate. My mother was not an over-collector, and had the area of the white rug beside her bed and scrubbed about the least amount of “stuff” of probably anyone I the actual shit stains from her illness out of it. On the know, certainly of her age; but still, this is a household of same day I did that, I rose to the 19th floor of the county 6