[Marxism] (no subject)
mikedjyates at msn.com
Fri Sep 21 19:24:22 MDT 2012
Full at http://cheapmotelsandahotplate.org/2012/09/21/my-mothers-auction/
"Five weeks after my mother died, we had an auction to sell her worldly goods. I wanted to give everything away, but my attorney said that, as executor, I had a legal obligation to my brothers and sisters to try to put as much money into the estate’s bank account as possible. We gave her clothing to the local St. Vincent de Paul thrift store, but to appease my contentious siblings, we decided to call an auctioneer and see if it would be worth it to sell everything else. He and his wife came to the house one evening, and, after they surveyed my mother’s belongings and concluded that a sale would yield a net gain, we agreed to use their services. My brothers and sisters were hounding me to agree to put the house up for sale immediately; one of my brothers said that it was time to give the rug a good shaking out and move on. They even badgered us, without success, to pay rent and utilities while we were tying up my mother’s affairs. So when the auctioneers promised to empty the house completely, allowing Karen and me to leave, this sealed the deal.
My mother lived in her home for sixty-two years, and when she was killed by a mail truck at age eighty-seven, she left the house full of things. The maple kitchen table, stove, refrigerator, the sharp-edged metal cabinet you bumped into every time you entered from the narrow hallway, itself cluttered with hamper, wooden stand, hall tree, screen, and wall telephone. The dated, heavy dining room table, china cupboard, sideboard, and chairs, with an old padded rocker in the corner. In the living room more chairs, couch, mirror, book case, television, TV stand, coffee table, knick knacks on a wall shelf. There was a mahogany bedroom set my parents purchased when they bought the house: two dressers, night stand, mirrored dressing table, kidney desk, more chairs. Two small bedrooms upstairs, my old room with the mahogany twin beds, another across the hall where my sisters slept. Mom’s clothes folded neatly in drawers, coats hung in closets, shoes in place on a shoe tree. Framed pictures, tupperware, dishes, pots and pans, bowls, baking equipment. Cellar with washing machine and dryer, metal storage shelving, upright freezer, dad’s old Navy trunk, foodstuffs, things stored in boxes. A garage full of junk rounded out the picture.
Before the auction, I sometimes woke in the middle of the night and went downstairs. I’d walk around and look at my mother’s possessions. I wondered if that old bedroom set gave her comfort. Did she look every night at the framed pictures of her children when they were kids? Did she have a favorite pair of shoes, coat, sweater, piece of jewelry? Did she look at her knick knacks and get pleasure or think that it was nice that her brother-in-law and his wife gave her the dining room furniture? Did she have a special pan or pot or candy dish? I broke down in tears when I looked at the ancient and uncomfortable chair she sat in while she read a book or looked outside. What did she feel as she watched her tiny part of the world pass by through the picture window?" . . .
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