Executor’s notes

October 26, 2008 at 9:18 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment
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After my mom’s untimely death in January and my stepfather’s less than eight months after, my job [I could not choose to accept it or not] became sorting out their house and affairs as executor of the estate.  I spent 6 to 12 hours a day, every day except two from September 26 until the day before yesterday engaged in this work, at their house in Sequim, Washington.  The past week was so busy I couldn’t even put up any blog posts!

Nothing in my life experience prepared me for doing this.  I had some help from my brother.  It was the most emotionally charged, nerveracking and constantly challenging task I’ve ever faced.  Maybe I’ve been lucky or had a charmed life.

We had to go through the entire house and sort their belongings.  In every closet, every drawer and cabinet there were items that made a stream of memories return [and some items I wasn’t familiar with].  We had to decide what to keep, what to sell and what to give away.

A two-day estate sale took place [we had professional help with it, thankfully] where I got to watch the house get packed with people, sardine can-like… and was treated with high moments [compassion, respect and compliments from total strangers; conversations with concerned neighbors] and low [people rifling through tables and haggling over prices].

Managed to get through all of that, and completely empty out and clean the house, and did a fair job rehabbing my mom’s fabulous landscaped gardens including getting a fence built [wood posts and rails with split bamboo fabric covering] that she’d been planning.  When I pulled out of there on Friday afternoon, the place was looking pretty good.

The house is up for sale, and I am hoping that someone will buy it who is interested in continuing my mom’s vision.  That might be a longshot, but one can dream.  It is just a 1980s manufactured house, but they really made the most of it.  I found a photo album chronicling my mom and stepfather’s history with this house, from finding it, forlorn and faded tan in a mobile home park, moving it to a big lot in the county off Old Olympic Hwy. and reinventing it in bold, new colors and site improvements.  It was just five years ago that we designed and built a 400 sq. ft. deck, with built in planting containers across the whole front of the house, taking in a panorama of the Olympic Mountains. 

Such a sad business.  I guess it’s a rite of passage.

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  1. I moved back up to Alaska to be closer to my aging parents and my sister. They are getting to that age where soon we will be engaging in the same process…

    When my parents die, I think of how incredibly lonely I will feel. I saw it my mom’s eyes when her parents died.

    Carry on my Wayward Son.


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