The Kofford Family relocates to Colorado after 40 years as Californians. In December of 2007, Grandma Lorraine is diagnosed with Stage 4 brain cancer. Sadly, she passed away on Dec. 26th, 2008 after a year long courageous battle. Follow our journey as we keep Lorraine's memory alive, and as we learn to appreciate that each day we are given, is a gift to be enjoyed!

“Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending.”
~Maria Robertson

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Home~ Past and Present


This morning I woke up in our home that we have lived in less than 2 years. The last 4 days I woke up in a home I never lived in, but where two people I loved did. They brought over 40 years of memories with them to this home, and I begun the search to uncover my childhood, my parents early marriage years, and their parents lives. As I started the process of opening up boxes, cleaning drawers, and finding treasures at every turn, I realized that the things of value to me, are things that have no value to anyone else. An old mirror I remember holding while my mom did my hair...the collander we used to hold boysenberries...things now old, but still new in my mind.

Here is the table we ate meals at since the 1970's...even dated avocado green looks great in this modern kitchen. I would love to keep the table that holds such fond memories, but I don't think I can, so I am afraid this picture and those photos in albums of us sitting around it at birthdays, etc...will be all that is left of those memories.

My dad has been gone since 2006 and my mom since Christmas, but their presence is still all around that house in so many ways. The refrigerator is still full of pictures my mom put on it...

This avocado green Tupperware container is one of a set of three. My mom would bake cookies and store them here. Silly it seems, but things like this, are the only "things" I have left to remind me of the years when I grew up.

This is the "Prayer Plant" that my mother had for over 40 years. She started many off shoots over the years, (I brought one home) but this is the original plant. My mom had an amazing green thumb and it is a wonder a simple houseplant could live so long!

The dishes and glassware my mom brought from her mother's home in Hawaii. So many things...so many memories.

The luggage on the left is the same suitcase my mom took when she left Maui in 1959 to attend college in Missouri. The blue piece was mine and carried my clothes and belongings on summer trips to her childhood home on Maui, and lots of family outings.

The sun dial I gave my dad for a special occasion...there it sits, still telling time...time marches on, even when I wish it would just stop, or return to how things once were.

The closet my sister in law helped me empty so I could refill it with the things I would like to keep.

These are the roses that my parents enjoyed every day outside their kitchen windows. I pruned a few bushes and took some of the roses to the cemetery. They should be enjoying the roses, but since they no longer can in this life, I thought I could at least take them to where they rest.

My mom's side of the headstone is all complete...her birth and death dates, as well as a palm tree for her Hawaiian roots, and an apple with school books for her 40 plus years of service in education.

I have a lot of work ahead of me to empty my parents home...it is filled with reminders and treasures from my past, and now that my folks are gone, the "things" are all I have left of my childhood. Those memories have no meaning to anyone else, and I mourn the loss of my parents, our times spent together, and I mourn the future. They will no longer be able to attend birthday get togethers, or holidays. They won't be at any recitals, and will not be able to see my chidren graduate, or marry.

Wasn't it just yesterday that my dad sat with me at the kitchen table and helped me with my 8th grade speech? I saw the dress in the back of the closet that my mom wore to our wedding. Wasn't it just yesterday that she wore it, in good health..with cancer and death unthought of? Wasn't it just yesterday that I was a little girl? Life has changed so dramatically for me in two years, and the losses of the above or far greater than any loneliness I felt as an only child. But as an only child, there are many memories that only I remember now...memories of no interest to anyone else. I found them all in photo albums, in closets, slide shows and momentoes.

I think the saying below says it best...

"One form of loneliness is to have a memory and no one to share it with."

We'll get back to our 3 week challenge tomorrow...but for today I need some time...time to reflect, time to feel sorry, time to just 'be.' Let's catch up tomorrow, and I promise to be back ready to talk "life changes" and living fully everyday! Thanks for reading...I missed you while I was away!

19 comments:

Beth said...

Hugs for Denise...you take as long as you need!

Anita said...

Denise, I left you a message, but my heart breaks for you. As I told you, share your memories, with your family, your friends, your bloggers, anyone and everyone, don't let them go. Sharing them keeps the legacy of your parents and all that they gave you alive. What wonderful people your parents were, as we know what a special daughter they shared with all of us.
Blessings for you. love and sunshine from Florida.........

marty39 said...

My parents have been gone for many years now, but I so related to you as you talked about the things that have the most meaning to you. I treasure a simple pyrex oval dish that always had banana pudding in it, a set of brown mugs that always had the best coffee in the world in them, a marble rolling pin that rolled out the best pie crust ever and so many other simple things that have no value to anyone but me, but each time I use them it brings back such wonderful memories. I understand your feelings, and please hold on to the memories. Tell their stories so many times that they become part of your family's memories. My heart is with you and my prayers also. God bless. Hugs, Marty

Sofia Striffler said...

Ok for today hugs and kisses Sofia

Lazy Mom Amanda said...

I can't imagine how excruciatingly painful this has to be. Soak up every memory, item and picture. There's no need to rush!

glitzen said...

I cannot tell you how much this touches me, and how I long for you to be comforted in this process. I'm so glad you ARE sentimental, because these memories and "things" that hold the memories are tangible connections to the past, happy times that truly are treasures...even though it aches to "go there" in your mind right now. Share and share and share....its part of grieving, and we here love the stories. Keep a journal, make a scrapbook, or do a quilt or wall hanging. Don't trust your blog to last forever, but copy your words and pictures somewhere they will keep, and you can share it with your children too.
Lately I find myself "drinking in" my parents when I am with them. Its because of you and what you share that I am ever more aware of the fragility of life.

Your song and quote are perfect. I have always loved that song, it broke my heart in the movie "Beaches" when I heard it first.

Emily said...

This was very touching. I was reading and found your post very heartfelt with a lot of love for your parents. Your parents seemed to have had a pretty good life left with so many memories.

My granny who I loved so much passed away this January and I still think about her everyday. It's amazing the little things we remember about our loved ones that we hold on to and would have no value to anyone but you and that person.

Take all the time you need to reflect and remember your parents legacy!

Lazy Mom Leslie said...

Denise, I'm so sorry you are having to go through this. I know I will be in your shoes one day. Take your time, praying for you.

Kim said...

Keep sharing the stories Denise. I know that your children will also find them an important part of their heritage in what they remember and how they loved their grandparents. I cannot imagine the physical and emotional pain of going through these things and not being able to keep them close by, but I also know the memories will not soon be forgotten. I love you dear friend and thank God for the strength he provides when we need it most.

linda said...

What a beautiful, heartfelt post Denise. You're in my thoughts and prayers!

My name is PJ. said...

Your words were so poignant and carried such a heavy weight with them. God bless you at such a difficult time, Denise.

The Quintessential Magpie said...

Precious Denise, you can share the memories of your parents with us any time, any day. We are here for you. I truly understand what it's like to grieve the loss of the people you love best. I've lost both of my parents, but I've also lost many of my childhood friends who died early. My MIL said she had never seen anything like it. That's one reason I don't like to go "home". It is painful.

And you take all the time that you need to mourn their loss and work through your grief. But you do have people here who will walk through it with you.

That's one reason I wanted to be available for my close friend who just lost her mother and is divorced. Her brother is deceased, and her sister lives elsewhere. I loved her mother, too, and her mother shared lots and lots about her own childhood and life with me when I would visit over there. She lived with Trish the last few years of her life, and she became a surrogate mother to me. So I mourn her loss in a tangible way and can share that with Trish.

I can't imagine how hard this is for you because you must be feeling you lost a large part of who you are, but please remember, we care. You are a lovely, intelligent, loving person, Denise, and all of us can see and appreciate that. We might not be able to share your childhood with you (except from the telling), but we can share this part of the journey. And I am going to pray that the Lord reaches out and heals your heart as you lean on Him as Father.

Just remember, HE has gone on every vacation with you and goes to every recital and sees every tear and heartache and every joy and smile. He is the father to the fatherless, and He has His protective arms around the orphans of this earth. I know because He is who has gotten me through the deaths of my own parents and so much more. Lean hard on the Lord, and He won't ever let you down.

XO,

Sheila

Sue said...

This was such a beautiful, yet sad, post. Know you are in my heart and prayers as you go through this tough time.

With love...

MiMi said...

Denise, I so understand what you mean when you say that the things of value to you, have no value to anyone else. I am so sentimental, too. I haven't had to go through the loss of my parents yet, but I have gone through the loss of my grandparents, who I lived with much of my youth. I know that all the memories come flooding over you when you see those things that were such a special part of your growing up.

I have little lace 'hankies" that I used to see my grandmother carry to church, her cookie jar collection, her silver napkin rings with hers and my Papa's names engraved on them, her collection of owls.

I think that it is so important to spend time treasuring all those wonderful memories of all the things that made you who you are.

They must have been pretty awesome parents to have raised such a precious daughter!

Praying for you during these difficult days!

Charlene said...

Denise, I have been thinking about you everyday. I can only imagine how painful this process is for you. Please know that it is totally fine to take as much time as you need for yourself during all this. The memories of your childhood will never be forgotten, but they will live forever in Kyle and Ashlyn. Keep sharing those memories with them and everyone! You are always in my prayers! Take comfort in the Lord my friend!
With much love...

ShutUpandRun said...

Beautiful post and thanks for sharing some memories with us. I know this must be a difficult time, and yet I am sure you have had thoughts and memories that have brought a bittersweet smile to your face.

stefanie said...

Denise,
I can relate to many of the things you are going through. Sorry you are feeling the weight of your losses so acutely right now. I'm a saver and I wanted to save everything I could get my hands on when my mom died. I have slowly let many of the 'things' go, but I'm glad I was able to do it on my time. Your pictures are a way to hold on to the memories behind the things that you will have to leave there. So glad your memories are happy!

Sofia Striffler said...

Thanks for visiting today. Those dishes are in the decor store, the same one the fleur de les is in. (spelling)

Lucy Marie said...

Thank you for sharing, my sweet friend. I have had you on my heart today and I feel that God lead me back to your blog to read this post. I must have missed it while I was away. Your memories are so beautiful and I can see the love in those photos. Keep reflecting and hold the memories close to your heart. xoxo