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Saturday, April 2, 2011

Now Dig Out, Dig Out, I say

I'm buried under a pile of paperwork which I have had to shove aside to get to the computer. Having finally reached my limit at an hour (after a couple of hours this morning and some last night) with spontaneous sobbing and then pushing forward for another thirty minutes. I am spent. I did get one drawer done last night and then four others today. Let me reiterate, these are deep filing cabinet drawers stuffed full of a lifetime of receipts and documents. There is the trash bag, large plastic black which I have already emptied, twice; the recycle bag which has also been emptied twice, and then the shredding bag. I have no idea where I am going to go to get all this stuff shredded. I certainly do not want to sit in front of this little garbage can shredder that was Mom's to do it. That would take weeks. This morning, I found my dad's medical record from the Army. I guess shred that too. He certainly doesn't need it now but it feels weird.

Sharon is coming tomorrow to help me. She is much less of a pack rat than I so much of the stuff I've pulled out will probably go in the garbage. If we can even get to it. I had hoped to have all the drawers cleaned out so that all we had to do was go through the stuff I wasn't sure about. I did find funeral instructions from Dad that he had done in 1995. In it he said, "don't spend too much because why you are doing this planning, I'll be living it up in the heavenlies." I quoted but that may be a paraphrase. I didn't feel like finding that piece of yellow legal pad paper again to see what the exact quote was. Lazy writing, I know. "Living it up," was one of his more favorite expressions. I had forgotten that.

The most frustrating thing is that I still can't find their most recent tax return. I'm wondering if it is with the lawyer we are meeting on Monday. One interesting thing I found was in Daddy's retirement papers. It recommended if the country were ever fully mobilized he be re-instated at the rank of Colonial. Maybe that is common but I'm still proud of him. I've gone through document after document outlining his achievements. I discovered tonight that Dad had aspirations of going to graduate school to get a teaching certificate while he already taught at Cleveland State. I don't know why he never went but I found two of his requests for more information and twice where UTK had sent him applications. Because of Mom's primary function as homemaker, I have found little of her in these files. Except for the saved engagement announcement in the yellowed newspaper. There is a lot of stuff I'd like to take the time to read but since my function is cleaning out, I have had to be very disciplined to make a pile for that and move on. It makes me so sad to see documented proof of lives well lived and people well loved that had to leave too soon.

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