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

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Home Is Where Your Heart Is

It sure doesn't matter where you are, if the people you love are there, it's "Home." My trip "home" to California went well and despite the circumstances, we enjoyed spending time with many friends and family each day. Here is my friend Sofia who drove 3 hours to help, and my sister in law Cindy. Both ladies were a big help to this only child, and they even made it fun making what to do with 4 sets of sombreros and maracas!

Kyle's best buddy Tom came to visit with his mom Nancy...what a huge help to Kyle having his friend there and Nancy did a great job entertaining all the kids so I could work. If only I had a picture of one of their favorite past times...walker races! It's just like wheelchair races but with the big walkers with seats attached!

This is just a sampling of the many organized bins my mom kept of everything from holiday decor to my dad's old trains and Ham Radios. I needed to decide if I was keeping or selling every item in those bins. I thought I did well keeping only enough treasures to fill one bin. I found the most important things and saved only those items that were irreplacable to me.

I took photos of things I didn't keep...and said goodbye to many reminders of the past, like the Santa that graced the hearth of the fireplace in every home we lived in.

It was difficult leaving the house, and knowing that the items I left behind would all be sold by the estate sale woman.

Although I know all the proceeds are going toward a worthy cause of replenishing the scholarship fund, it is still difficult to leave all my parents remaning belongings to strangers. Any memories I wanted to have a tangible reminder of, are safely loaded in this 10 ft. U-Haul being driven here as I type by our friend Warren.

I also had the privilege of meeting the scholarship recipients and taking a photo for the local paper at the school my mother taught at for over 30 years.

What wonderful teachers who will honor my parents by how they use the funds in their classrooms. I am certain my parents would have been so pleased to see the generous contributions of friends and family used in this way.

Upon returning home...the pond had sure progressed, and there was such joy in watching the kids run over the bridge, and gaze at their reflections.

The life I knew has been left behind, and I am welcomed home with new opportunities for making memories...

Life ends and begins over again. Time marches forward even when I sometimes want to stay in the past and "live there" until I feel good and ready to return to the present. It would have been easy to get stuck in the past in my parents home, to let the tears return upon opening every box filled with some trinket or treasure from my past.

I am bringing what is left of that past home with me, but remembering that life goes on; and that home is really in many different was at my parents home, where their memories linger...home is at our grandparents home where holidays were celebrated..."Home" is at a friends house where we are welcomed with open arms...home is at the kitchen table of Tom's parents where they played hours of "Gin" with Kyle...where Tom's mother prepared meals for us...where we were loved.

Home is anywhere people we love are, and I am grateful for so many places to call home! How good life is to be "home" once again!


Karen said...

Denise, it was such a pleasure to meet you (and the kids) in person at Meli's house. You are welcome at our book club meetings any time!

I'm so glad that your trip was successful and now we'll pray the house sells quickly!

Rest well, my friend. I'm sure your parents would be proud of all that you're doing, not just with settling their affairs and sorting through their earthly possessions but in continuing their powerful legacy through the scholarship fund.

Beth said...

Good work Denise! Closure for the concrete items seems to be a step in the right direction. I bet it was hard... Now you get to enjoy the memories and continue spreading the joy with your family! Take Care!

Lucy Marie said...

Denise, I am so glad to hear you are back safely. I am not sure I would have been able to reduce all those bins down to one bin! Way to go. I hope the estate sale and the rest of the process goes smoothly.

I pray you are feeling peace.

Anita said...

Denise, welcome back to your bloggy home, you have been missed. I have a few tears reading this post, as it is bitter sweet and sentimental and so real.
I am going "home" to TX next month, it will be a gift to see my parents again, and to have them share themselves with our family.
You are blessed in many ways Denise, thank you for sharing.

Sofia Striffler said...

Hey there. Glad you made it back safely. Thanks for the picture. You are right home is where ever you are with your family. I'm glad I was able to help. The pond and waterfall looks beautiful. Talk to you soon Love you

Laura said...

I think you did great Denise! Such hard decisions were made, but you did it! Hang in there, it will be hard again to go thru all the bins once the u-haul arrives! You are such a strong and amazing woman.

stefanie said...

Welcome home! Seems that it was a bittersweet trip. Glad that you accomplished so much and had such wonderful friends and family to care for you along the way.

glitzen said...

It sure is good to know you are home again. Your pond is gorgeous!
I would not have been able to make such hard decisions with such clarity and grace. I had you and your parents on my mind SO MUCH as I spent time with mine in Hawaii. Each moment I spent with them I tried to "freeze" in my mind to keep forever. You are my inspiration when the time comes that I have to say goodbye and let them go.I am so thankful for each minute I have. Life is so very fragile. You have done such an amazing thing, and found a way to extend your parents influence and memory through the scholarship fund. What a wonderful tribute. I am sending you lots of hugs and prayers, as you go "home" again. Be well my friend.

Kim said...

Thank you for updating us all with how the final days in Red Bluff went. Loved the chance to see you a few times! I'm so happy we were able to see all the Koffords this time around.

You are amazing and I love you! Keep the faith Sister!

Kim said...

Denise, I almost got a little teary-eyed reading this entry (and several other ones! :-) Loved the pics again, esp. the last one of the house all lit up. Seemed like closure. And of course, that is the prayer I have for you at this time with the items from your parents' home. You couldn't have said it better about where the real blessings are found, and the treasured memories that we have when we walk into certain rooms and sit down on the furniture there. Your parents couldn't possibly be prouder, I'm certain!!! Love,
Kim L.
p.s. I ESPECIALLY love the beautiful picture of the kids sitting on the bridge swinging their legs over the pond. Such a sweet childhood image!