And then it hit me...

Today was the last day of the estate sale where we sold the rest of my mother-in-law's things after all of the siblings took what was meaningful to them.  And let me tell you, there was still a lot of stuff for sale.  I don't think I was emotionally prepared for yesterday.  The sale started at 8.  I was there at 8:05 and the street was packed with parked cars and tons of people in a mad rush to score a treasure.  I couldn't deal with the throngs of people, so I spent most of the day hauling more stuff out of the house and onto the driveway.  About two hours in, I started weeping in her empty living room.  I felt so overwhelmed by it all.  Nobody cared that she was an excellent gardener or photographer or knitter or seamstress or that she could bake a mean cookie or that she loved coffee, Dr. Oz, Martha Stewart or a good biography.  They just wanted to walk away with something for a dollar or fifty cents.  And it made me really freakin' sad. Ironically, she hated having garage sales, but boy did she have a successful one.  I don't think I've ever seen so many people.

Today, I was consolidating things and digging through boxes to tidy up the tables and I came across a white folder at the bottom of a box.  There were several pictures from her life, including what is now my favorite picture of her and my husband.  They are in the hills of Marin County.  Erik looks about thirteen.  The wind is blowing furiously in their hair and they are both looking out through the lenses of their cameras as someone takes a photo of them.  It captures her spirit and the gift that she gave her offspring.  She was a teacher who taught all of her children to appreciate beauty and nature and taking their time to do things right. What a gift!

By the end of the day, we were telling the odd sprinkling of people to take what they wanted for free.  I think she would have liked that.  And it was funny, these people didn't just load up their boxes with whatever they could pick, they took their time and selected items that they liked.  I think she would appreciate that.  She was a generous spirit.  In a way, I hope she was there these past two days watching the goings on of her earthly things and how they were taking up residence in other people's houses and apartments. Her things would live on!  But, mostly, I hope that she will go freak out the person who stole the leaf blower and the lady who kept stuffing items in her ginormous purse.  I was too much of a chicken to call her on it.  Those two should be ashamed of themselves.

I'm pooped, emotionally and physically.  I don't think I want to do another garage sale for at least 50 years.  Hopefully, I won't have to.