What always strikes me about estate or garage sales..is how what we ‘own’ really means nothing..like yesterday’s news our belongings may as well be blowing off of sidewalks and into the wind.
Except for maybe one or two things…maybe.
In the case of the stuff belonging to somone who has passed it’s even more apparent that it is so. I recall arriving at an aunts place soon after she’d died..suitcases in hand..the first thing that struck me as I turned on light after light in her noiseless & dark little apartment..were a pair of her slippers. The soles still had imprints of her once living feet etched into them, they were placed neatly under her bed..heel parts sticking out right where she’d left them so they’d be ready for her to slip into that next night.
The night of the day she died.
Like a good and loyal friend..is how they struck me. Perhaps it was the empty way I felt walking through her home..knowing she was gone..it too felt as if it (the apartment) knew the very short little German lady with the big big boobs..even bigger mouth and funny German accent pepperd with a Texas southern drawl..would no longer bring life into its 3 and 1/2 rooms.
Maybe that’s why her slippers seemed..so..so connected if you will.
I went about the business of preparing for a funeral and that night when I arrived back at her place I headed straight for the shower stopping in the bedroom to pick out a change of clothes..as the room came into focus there they were again..waiting patiently..for a pair of feet that were now gone from this world.
Surrounded by all of her things..only they spoke to me of lonliness.
I stood staring at those lost looking yellow terry cloth slippers for a very long long time.
Three days later after the memorial and contents of her place had appropriately been dealt with, I left Dallas, my aunt’s ashes in tow besides me as I boarded the plane. She was going home, to her final resting place in Germany. Soon she would lie besides they who had birthed her and those siblings who had followed their parents home.
I was taking her half way.
What no one knows..even to this day..is her loyal and lonely slippers made the trip with her.
‘We’ are all that we have and even that is sometimes debatable. As inanimate as they may have been..if we’re real, real lucky..we’ll all have something as simple & true at the end; escorting us to a place that holds a promise many on earth pray is real, we’ll have more than only ourselves some day…just like my aunt had.
Rest well aunt Katcha..rest well.
Thanks much to Tui for the memory trigger.