It's been a little over a year and a half since my mom passed away, leaving me and the dogs to our own devices. Since then, I have tried my best to combine both houses of stuff, edit what I don't want, and make my childhood home into the current "50 year old me" home. It hasn't been easy, surprisingly. There are so many memories and emotions tied up in the things that inhabit my home(s); it's hard to let go when I can remember when, where, and even why something was purchased.
Mom--and daddy, too--worked hard to make our home a lovely, comfortable, and interesting place. We collected souvenirs and momentos from our travels. The things that we brought home were never cheap, tacky, tourist-y junk. I don't remember even buying a souvenir t-shirt until I was in college!
Because my parent's home was lovely when I moved in, I was at first reluctant to make any changes. I planned on bringing in the few antique pieces I owned and calling it a day. But the longer I lived in the house, the more I realized that it just wasn't me. My mom was raised in the 30s and 40s, a time when everyone's home was much more formal than those of today. Each room's furniture matched religiously. And it was expensive furniture, too. Mom didn't buy anything until she could afford exactly what she wanted. It seemed a sin to replace things just because they didn't suit me.
I felt guilty about replacing and redecorating too. If it was good enough for my parents, it should be good enough for me too. I've had several dreams in which my mother suddenly reappeared from wherever she's been for the last 18 months, and scolded me for changing "her" house! In one dream, she just started moving things back to where they "belonged." Now that's some powerful guilt!
Despite my feelings of guilt, I resolved to make some changes. As I've mentioned before, the room I feel worst about changing is what used to be my mom and dad's vintage soda fountain. I am selling almost everything soda fountain-related in my estate sale, to make room for my studio. Ugh, even writing about it makes me feel a twinge of guilt. They worked so hard at collecting the stuff, and in making the room so authentic. I know in my head that it's okay; that they would want me to be happy, but I still feel bad. I'm pushing on, nevertheless.
Stay tuned for a lengthy house tour in August. And, then you won't ever have to hear about my house-guilt again! I promise!