Day 72

As sad as we may be when a loved one passes away, we should remind ourselves that our loss is another person’s reunion. Meaning that we have lost someone incredible, but that person is now reunited with all of the amazing people that has passed on before them.

My Grandpa was the youngest out of his siblings, so he saw all of his family pass on before him. So now he can be reunited with all of his siblings, and his friends, too.

I always regret not calling him as often as I should have. But there wasn’t a lot of new things happening in my life, so I didn’t really know what to say most of the time. I really wished I had made the effort to talk to him more. But in the past, I visited him a lot.

Today, I will remember that even though I am sad, I should be thankful that my loved one is in a better place, with all of our loved ones who have passed on before us. I will honour the ones that have passed on by embracing their lives, and legacies. I will let them live on in my heart, and it would be like they never passed away.

Day 70

This lesson is from Thursday March 11th.

I got to see my sister when she finished work. It was a bittersweet visit. We had planned to FaceTime my uncle since he was visiting my Grandpa. Because of the whole covid situation, my sister and I weren’t able to see him, so we can only FaceTime with him, to say our goodbyes.

He was alert, but sedated so he didn’t really say much, but that’s okay. My sister and I talked about all of our memories that we have shared with him. And my other cousins got to say goodbye to him via FaceTime, too. We were all there.

My sister and I talked about all of the times we were at the cottage, all of our sleepovers, all of those cups of tea he made us. My cousins and I slept over at our Grandparents’ house and we had a chocolate egg scavenger hunt. That was a lot of fun!

Today, I will reflect on memories that made me laugh and smile. I will try my hardest to keep them dear to my heart. Mostly I will try to keep the memories alive by telling them to others.

Day 69

This lesson is from Wednesday March 10th.

My Grandpa was in the hospital for a few days now. Unfortunately on the Tuesday, his team of doctors and nurses came to the conclusion that the medication wasn’t helping him get better. So unfortunately they had to take him off his medications. My Grandpa became an end of life patient.

Because of the Covid protocols, the hospitals didn’t allow his grandchildren to visit him. But thankfully with the help of technology, I was able to call my uncle, who was allowed to see him. My uncle put his phone on speaker, and I was able to say my goodbye to my Grandpa. The last time I had saw him it was over a year, since his retirement denied visitors to come through. It was a difficult year not being able to see him. I would always visit him.

I am able to relive one of the last memories we had on the phone.

Today, I learn that saying goodbye to someone, especially someone as dear as my Grandpa, it was incredibly hard. I will embrace every time that I see someone, and appreciate our time with them, because we never when the last time may be.

Heart Broken

I am so sorry for my absence on my blog. Last week, my Dad had sent me a message, telling me that my Grandpa (his Dad) has died. He has been in the hospital a few days before he had passed away. It was not Covid related.

He had a bad heart, but that never stopped him from loving everyone. Everyone was his best friend. He was my best friend my whole life. I feel really sad that he is no longer on earth with me. But I know that he will be looking down on me.

I have been trying to not let the sadness bring me down. But some days it is harder than others. My Papa has been having a hard year with his heart. And that he was sad that not too many people have been able to visit him. Where I live, in order to protect the elderly members a lot of the retirement homes can no longer have any visitors, and the residents that lived there, weren’t allowed to leave the retirement home. The Grandpa I knew was he was always moving and liked to keep myself busy. So for him not to be able to interact with everyone, was challenging on him.

My Dad had told me that it wasn’t looking too good for him. I was so sad, because I just kept on hoping that he would get better, so he could go back home. Because he was only allowed to be visited by his children, and grandchildren weren’t allowed to see him. We were still fortunate enough to have said our goodbyes via FaceTime with one of my uncles. I haven’t seen him in a year because of the Covid protocols. I was blessed to have visited my Grandparents the weekend before everything closed. During that visit I didn’t want to leave, because I had a feeling that it might have been the last time seeing him. I had a feeling because I knew it was only a matter of time before all of the retirement homes get placed under lockdown.

It’s been a difficult month, with trying to accept the loss of my Grandpa. It’s been challenging to accept that he is gone. The world feels so different without him here on Earth. He was a loving man. I just wished I got to make more memories with him. We missed out on a lot of memories during his final year, birthdays, BBQ’s, Christmas, and many visits. He lived a long, beautiful life. He got to be there for his family, and see his Grandchildren grow up. He even got to meet his Great Grandchildren. Not everyone gets that blessing. He was three months away for his 91st birthday.

Luckily we were able to have a funeral for him to honour the great man that he was. I feel so glad to have had you in my life for as long as I had. I’m almost 27, not too many of my friends have their Grandparents at that age, most of the people I knew from school had to deal with this during elementary days. I can’t even imagine to feel that burden.

Two weeks ago, my best friend, and one of my Gemini twins became my Guardian Angel.

“How lucky am I to have something that makes saying goodbye to so hard?”-A.A. Minnie, Winnie the Pooh

I feel so fortunate that we were able to have so many years together, filled with so many wonderful memories. You were the best Grandpa anyone could have asked for.

I always get told that I look so much like you, and I love that I can see a resemblance of you in myself.

I thought that sitting on your lap was always the best seat in the house. It made me feel happy and safe being wrapped around your arms. We would tell each other stories, and we would make each other laugh all the time.

I remember that time you bought all of my back to school supplies, as well as my sister’s supplies, too. I was going to start grade one, and my sister was going to start the fourth grade. I wanted to have all of the fancy supplies that my sister was getting, like all of those cool binders, rulers, calculators, highlighters, pencil crayons, and so many other supplies that I did not need for the first grade. But I wanted to be just like my sister! But having all of these supplies made me want to do well in school. You inspired me to reach my goals. And I am still making sure that I reach my goals now.

I remember whenever I got sick, you would babysit me while my parents were at work. And other times, you would drive yourself and Grandma to our place, to drop off homemade soup. Grandma would make the best chicken noodle soup, and turkey soup. She would make us whatever she had on hand at the time. I always felt so blessed.

I remember the one time I was at your cottage, and I had lost my first tooth, since you told me that eating some celery would help it come out. Your idea totally worked! Although after I lost my tooth, I got all worried, because I didn’t think that the Tooth Fairy would be able to find me so far away from home. You had helped me calm down, when you explained that the Tooth Fairy will still be able to find me. She did indeed.

I remember when we were about to head out for the cottage, but Great Auntie (his sister-in-law) had called Grandma. Those two loved to talked to each other. While we waited for their conversation to end, you taught me how to tie my shoes. It made me so happy! I remember getting to tell Grandma all about it once she got off of the phone.

I always remember going to your house a lot of the time, because you and Grandma would have invited us over for roast beef, mashed potatoes (which are my favourite) carrots, and corn. And we would always end the night with us dancing together. You would place my feet on top of yours, and we would hold hands while we swayed across the floor in the foyer. We would always Dance it Out!

I was always at your house so much, it was basically a second home away from home. From the countless sleepovers, to our weekly dinners, I was always visiting you! We also watched Wheel of Fortune, Jeopardy! and whatever sport game was on afterwards, whether it was football, or your favourite the New York Rangers, we always had a fun time.

I remember that one sleepover at your house, during the Easter long weekend. We had our family dinner on the Saturday night, and then I spent the night with my auntie, my uncle, and my two cousins after everyone else had left. The three of us woke up to an Easter Scavenger Hunt for chocolate eggs the next morning. You were helping me the most try to find the eggs! And all of those other weekend sleepovers at my auntie and uncle’s house. Especially since they lived so far away from us, so the road trips were also fun, too! Those were the best.

We also had so many sleepovers with my sister, which were always so much fun. Especially when it was during the winter time, you would drive us around the neighbourhood and look at all of the Christmas lights.

I loved how I was fortunate enough to celebrate our birthdays together since our birthdays were ten days apart. It was always a wonderful celebration. Our names were both written on the cake for a lot of our birthdays. That always made me smile.

Another dear memory of mine that I have of you, is that when I was in the hospital in the fifth grade, you and Grandma came to the hospital and visited me every day! I am always thankful for your company. And most days you came over with presents, to help me feel more comfortable.

Because of all of the cups of tea we have shared together, I have become obsessed with tea. And now I will always think of you whenever I have a cup of tea. You always made the best cup of tea ever! You showed me a love for puzzles like Sudoku, and word searches, bowling, and dressing up.

I will always remember you by looking so dapper. You always had your hair combed really nicely. You even kept a comb in your back pocket. You would even wear a suit and a jacket, despite us just having brunch together at a restaurant. I remember all of my uncles telling you that you didn’t have to wear a suit for a brunch. You would reply with that you wanted to. The only time I really saw you dress casually was when I saw you on Fridays for our weekly dinners, and whenever we went to the beach

Of course, I can go on and on with even more of the memories we have shared together, because you truly have given me a lifetime of memories, that I will cherish forever.

You passed down so much of your wisdom, and compassion onto me. You have taught me valuable lessons throughout my life. You showed me the importance of helping out others, and being kind to others. You taught me what it means to truly love someone, and how to be family-oriented.

Thank you for telling me all of these stories about my great aunties, and uncles, and great grandparents, and the stories about you and Grandma, and how you two met. I have always admired your love story with Grandma, it’s like a fairy tale. They were married for 68 years, and have been together for almost 71 years. Growing up I had wished that I would have an amazing love story like you two. And lucky for me, I met my Prince Charming on the day of your wedding anniversary. I took that as a sign from the universe!

Growing up you were always the first person I told good news to. You always believed in me. You have helped shape me into who I am as a person. You have inspired me, and strengthened me over the years.

Thank you for all that you have done for me, and for our family. You taught me that it is important to make compromises for our family. I am grateful that you took us to see my Great Auntie. We always played cards, and other games with my Great Auntie. She always would make us her delicious fudge. We visited her a lot with my Grandparents because she was lonely since her husband passed away not too long ago. She was always such a nice lady. She’s another Gemini that I hold dear to my heart!

I am going to miss you so much. But I know that as long as I keep you in my heart, you are never really gone. You will forever be a part of us. I know that I can be sad all I want to be, but I can also be happy for you that you can see all of your siblings, and all of the other amazing people that have passed on before you. Please tell Great Auntie, that I say hello, and that I miss her, too. I hope you are enjoying her homemade fudge and Shortbread cookies. I also hope that you are playing Jeopardy! with Alex Trebek.

I had a 30 second dance party on the night you had passed because that is how we finish! I love you more than words would be able to explain my love for you. Please continue to send me your support, and your love for me. And be sure to send me any pieces of advice and guidance whenever you may think I need any. You will be missed dearly. I love you with all of my heart. Until we meet again… xoxo

Since you always inspired me to chase after my dreams, and I will be honouring you by writing a book about you, and all of the memories we have shared. I will keep everyone posted with the writing. I will love to start getting back into writing again. Writing has always made me so happy.

I feel like this is what you have been sending me, that you would want me to continue to live my life, and to reach my goals. You would want me to be happy, and to remember all of the times we have shared.

Thank you for everything that you have ever done for me. It means so much!

For my followers, thank you so much for your love and patience during this time. I appreciate all of the likes and support that you have been giving me. It truly means the world to me.

Day 36

I spent the majority of my day reading books that I have adored from middle school. The books brought back so many memories. They were emotional books, despite remembering the ending of the stories. It was a fun way to spend the day. Reading books has always made me happy. Reading all day is a fun way to spend the day.

Today, I will do something to bring back a happy memory, whether that is making an older recipe, reading a book from my childhood, or any other ideas similar to these ideas. It’s good to honour the past of happy memories.

Day 22

I was helping my mom move out of her place. I knew that she has a lot of stuff, but when I saw it looking really disorganized especially for someone who is supposed to be ready for their move. My mom has a lot of dishes, and other things as well.

But from what I have learnt over the years is that it isn’t really a good thing that a single person has 20 dishes, and cups. Which is something that my mom has. All of her houses that she has stayed at are too small to have family over. So it’s not like all of those dishes were for us. It normally means that there is some underlining situation or a problem with this individual. There is research that shows a correlation between depression, and clutter. Clutter can also stem from trauma, or any traumatic experiences at some point in your lives.

My hearts go out to anyone who has experienced anything traumatic and heart wrenching. We may not be able to change anything from the past, but we can change our future. It’s up to us to make things better.

It took me some time to realize that part of the reason why she holds on to all of these things is because she lives alone now. So she holds on to these pieces as a way of holding on to the people that no longer live with her, like my dad, myself, and my sister. We all used to live together. But what I have learned is, that we don’t need to hold onto to things to remember people by, we remember things by keeping them in our hearts.

We can help our loved ones, or ourselves, if we are the ones who are suffering. We should not have to suffer in silence, call up a friend or a family member to help you. Although this mission can get done on its own. But if you prefer help, that’s okay, too. Slowly start removing clutter from your life. One of the easiest ways to stop having clutter is by stop having it come in your house and life, in the first place. Stop shopping for clutter. Stop agreeing to take things from loved ones. Another healthy solution is to work on ways you safely talk about things that has happened in your life.

I can identify the reasons and the whys my mom has had so many various things in her life. In a way, those reasons have made me collect clutter in high school. My parents were going through a separation at the time. But I have realized that I have collected so much, I was tired of it. So a few years later, I started being more cautious of my things. I started with my clothes. My closet used to be jam packed of clothes. I finally got rid of a ton of things. I was started to feel really good about myself. I was happy for myself.

Today, I will realize that clutter, and holding onto things don’t really make us happy. What makes us happy is being able to free from our clutter. We can’t hold onto every single memory throughout our lives. Our memories live inside of our brains and our hearts. If you see a family member or friend hold on to a lot of stuff, ask them if they need any help. Be sure to lend them a helping hand.

Day 115 of 192

I found a bunch of different pieces of jewelry, but now that I am older I have a different sense of style. I have already made up my mind of what I like to wear. These pieces of jewelry are almost 20 years old. It seems to me, this is the perfect time to let these things go.

I am thankful of the memories I have had while I wore these, but it’s just time to move on.

Unimaginable Treasure Chapter One

Here it is, the first chapter of my new story. It’s called Unimaginable Treasure. Please know, that I will never judge anyone from holding on certain things. So there’s no need to feel embarrassed about it. We are all humans, doing our best. I am not one to judge or express shame among anyone. I hope you like it. Please feel free to provide me with any feedback. I will be posting a chapter every Wednesday.

Chapter One

It was a chilly Friday afternoon in late September. The leaves began changing their colours, and some trees were completely bare, whereas other trees still had the majority of their leaves. Lisa had just got home from school a half hour ago. She was worried about her friend, Sophie who wasn’t at school earlier.

Sophie was briskly walking through a pile of leaves, where she saw her friend, Lisa reading some kind of scary book on her porch. She had saw Lisa drinking a cup of hot chocolate with mini marshmallows. Sophie can tell Lisa didn’t make it too long ago, since she was able to see the steam rising from the red mug.

Upon Sophie’s arrival, Lisa put her book away, as Sophie sat down on the bench beside her. Lisa knew something was wrong because she noticed that Sophie’s face was red and her eyes were puffy and glossy.

“What’s wrong?” Lisa asked.
“It’s my Grandma…” Sophie began, but couldn’t hold back her tears long enough to tell Lisa.

Lisa began hugging Sophie, but that just made Sophie sob even more.

“Shhh… It’s okay. We’ll get through this together.” Lisa promised, hugging her tighter.

The last time Sophie had called her, she had told Lisa that her Grandma had suffered a stroke, and she wasn’t doing well. Lisa was really sad for Sophie, but at the same time she didn’t know how to comfort her friend since she had never lost someone close to her before.

“Here, you need this more than I do.” Lisa confessed as she handed Sophie her mug of hot chocolate.

“Thanks.” Sophie said, grabbing the mug and began taking sips from it, as she was wiping away her tears.

“Listen, let’s have the best weekend ever! And then after that we will seriously have to study for our history test this Friday.” Lisa declared.

“Yeah, sounds like fun. But I think on Sunday I have to be with my family, to help make funeral arrangements for my Grandma.” Sophie announced.

“Understandable, let’s have a lot of fun. I can even cancel my date with Ben tomorrow. I can see if he wants to reschedule until Sunday. For now, I’m all yours. Let’s turn the frown upside down!” Lisa said hopefully.

“You didn’t have to do that, but I appreciate you doing that for me.” Sophie said, realizing that she has the best friend in the whole world.

Lisa and Sophie have been friends since they were toddlers. They first met each other in preschool.

They had spent the weekend doing many fun things like staying up all night, making sundaes, painting their nails and reading the latest gossip from Hollywood.

After all that fun, Sophie had to leave and get ready to spend time with her family. They needed to discuss the funeral arrangements, and get the photos ready for the funeral room.

Sophie had thanked Lisa for giving her an amazing weekend. Lisa was happy that she got to help Sophie. Sophie is an only child, and all of her cousins live in another city, and weren’t planning on coming in until Sunday morning. Sophie was more than grateful to have Lisa help her through this difficult time.

Sophie was surrounded by her family as they had made arrangements for her late Grandmother. Lisa got to hang out with Ben since she had rescheduled their date.

***

The next few days were filled with sorrow for Sophie attending her Grandma’s funeral. Lisa and Ben made study cards and started studying for their history test.

Eventually Sophie’s family went to her Grandma’s house. They didn’t realize that her house was jam packed with various items. Every room except her kitchen and dining room was filled with stuff floor to ceiling. They finally realized that’s why their Grandma didn’t allow visitors anymore.

Sophie’s father, David, the son of her Grandma began cleaning up her house. Sophie looked around and she knew that she wanted her Grandma’s recipe books, her Grandma made the best cherry cheesecake. She had talked to her cousins and wondered if they could make a three way split between their Grandma’s doll collection.

Her family agreed to take some things from the house. Sophie loved drinking tea, and her Grandma had various collections of matching tea cups and tea pots, as well as the milk jug, and sugar holder. She had a collection set in roses, teddy bears and plain porcelain. Sophie had her eye on all three sets.

Some of the things that her Grandma had kept were a lot of paper from her son and daughter’s school years. She had kept a lot of photos and cards from various holidays and birthdays. Her fridge was completely covered with magnets from all of the places she had travelled to. She had a lot of clothes. Despite having a walk-in closet, two dressers it just wasn’t enough. She had kept her clothes in the spare room, too. Her jewelry spilled all across the top of her dressers, and her countless jewelry boxes.

Her family had spent two weeks shredding papers, donating the clothes, the jewelry after they had all agreed to keep a few things each.

Sophie had hung out a lot with Lisa and Ben. She had showcased all of her cool new things that she got from her Grandma’s house. Lisa admired the porcelain tea set collection a lot.

After all of that, they moved on to the next phase which was to donate the furniture, clean the carpets and floors which hadn’t been seen for several years. The last time David remembered seeing the floors was when he had helped his mom deal with his Dad’s belongings after he passed away seven years ago.

Next David, and his sister, Claire found a realtor, because they wanted to list her house on the market, and hopefully sell it by Christmas.

After a few weeks had passed, Sophie realized that her parents were going through all of their belongings, and updating their wills. It was now the middle of October and all of the leaves had fallen to the ground.

“Hey, what are you up to?” Sophie asked.
“Well, having to clean up after both of my parents. It’s a lot of work. My Dad didn’t have a lot of stuff, but my mother had a bunch of things. I don’t want you to be left with this burden after we pass away.” David confessed, as he was filling up another bag of his belongings. His wife, Samantha was doing the same thing.

There was a small pause. Sophie was processing what her Dad had just said.

“What are you going to do with all of these things?” Sophie wondered.
“We’re going to donate these. There are various donation sites around the city that accept donations.” Samantha answered.
“I think that maybe Grandma was lonely, so instead of filling her home with memories she filled it with things. Like maybe that was her way of remembering us. Hear me out, she had kept yours and Aunt Claire’s school work throughout the years. It’s like her way of holding onto you.” Sophie explained.
“Yes, that can be a fair assessment of what happened.” David agreed.

This made Sophie really think about things. She went to her room and began examining her things, as well. She started with her closet. She began asking herself if she had worn any of these clothes in the past year. If she hadn’t she threw them on the floor until she had realized that she had a mountain of clothes on her floor. She decided it would be a good idea to grab a reusable bag and start packing all of these things. Next she had moved on to her books.

A few days later she was hanging out with Lisa and Ben at Ben’s house. Sophie had brought the roses tea set with her this time. They eventually made some Earl Grey tea. They started making pumpkin cookies as they were trying to decide on a scary movie to watch.

“I haven’t seen you this happy in a long time.” Lisa noticed.
“Yeah, what’s your secret?” Ben asked.
“Well, you would think that with everything that has happened to me, you would like that I wouldn’t be happy. But I found a way.” Sophie explained as she was sipping her tea.

“These past weeks have taught me a lot of lessons. I realized that it is good to let things go that I don’t use anymore. My Grandma must have had 250,000 items in her house. Most of them were memories of my cousins, aunt, my parents and myself. We don’t need to hold on to things to remind things by, our memories are kept in our minds and hearts. I was inspired to get rid of some of my belongings. I feel like it’s allowed me to feel more joy since I’m no longer bombarded with all of this clutter around me. I have even spoken to the principal if we can have a donation week. It’s where we can donate our stuff, and it gets donated to places where people can help themselves if they are in need.” Sophie explained.

Lisa and Ben were in awe with her enthusiasm to help other people.

“How about we forget this movie and we can take our tea and cookies and we can get started with Ben’s stuff first?” Sophie asked.

“That sounds like a great idea.” Lisa confessed.

The three of them carefully carried their tea cups up the stairs and walked into Ben’s room to start their decluttering mission.

Day 82 of 192

Hey everyone, sorry for the delay. This item is from Saturday.

I have finally gone through this one container that I have. It was mostly filled with stuff that I haven’t used in a really long time, but I somehow convinced myself that I needed all of these things. Removing all of these things from this big container, I realized that I didn’t need any of these things at all.

This was a pen that my Grandparents gave me for Valentine’s Day 15 years ago. What was cool about this pen was that it had bubble dispenser, and a heart handle, which I thought was so cool.

But the pen doesn’t even work, and I’m way too cold for bubbles. If I miss Grandparents, I can still call them.

Another thing I have learned from this decluttering journey is that memories of people and or experiences, they aren’t in things, they are found in us. So, why do we constantly feel the need to declutter our homes and minds with things we no longer need?