Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Correcting Chaos

My life has been in a virtual shambles since Calvin died last November. I stopped cooking for months and we lived on either the kindness of family having us for dinner or takeout for a long time. Getting back into cooking was difficult for me at first, it came in fits and starts. I'd be good for a week and then lapse again into complacency and not cook for another month. I really noticed how messed up my life was at the end of January when I realized that I had been walking around the wrapping paper from Christmas morning for over a month and that my Christmas tree which had long since died had dropped almost all it's needles on my livingroom floor. We hadn't even unpacked from moving home from Vancouver by the end of January and I had been dodging calls from our kindly retired minister who had performed Calvin's funeral service, because I was ashamed at my lack of motivation or concentration long enough to get my house cleaned. It's been on and off like that for me for months now, since losing our son and it's just been in the last couple of months that I have started cooking again full time.

When we decided to move Georgia out of our bedroom a few months ago, we had to move Lorelei upstairs to her new bedroom so that Georgia could have her old room. We had made Lorelei's room as comfy and pretty as possible with all her things and her Aunt Susie and Uncle Dana had done an amazing job painting and putting up pretty wallpaper for her in anticipation of her move to her big girl bedroom. So both Lorelei and Georgia had pretty, clean, organized bedrooms. A fresh start for both girls. I don't know why I didn't give Shane and I the same fresh start. We've been living in clutter and chaos in our room and the remainder of the unseen parts of the house for almost a year now. This past week I decided I have had enough and set about to correct the chaos. I started in our laundry room which ironically still had boxes of stuff from our move home from Vancouver. It took me three days to clean it, organize it, get rid of the stuff that shouldn't be in there and do all the laundry that has been sitting in the hamper for months now. Yesterday I started on our bedroom. It's been a huge job for me, cleaning out our closet was difficult, not because of the mess, but because of the disorganization of memories collected there. Parts of Calvin's life lay all askew here and there, papers, birth and death certificates, clothing, memories. For the first time in twenty years, I took everything out of my hope chests and went through it all, getting rid of stuff I have lugged around for most of my life that had no meaning. Then I went upstairs and lugged down the suitcase containing Calvin's clothing and unpacked it. Touching each thing of his, remembering each special gift or outfit purchased with love for him, smelling the clothes he wore the day he died. I found myself crying, sitting alone on the laundryroom floor, packing away all of his things, putting my memories in one tidy place. All my hopes and dreams for my son now lay in that chest and although it hurt so much to go through all those memories and things, I feel a sense of accomplishment at having organized it all into one place. It's a feeling I haven't felt in a long time. In fact it felt so good I have been focusing on making our home feel homey once again, the thoughts of nesting down for the winter in comfort appeals to me right now as I know the memories and pain of last November lay just around the corner. This time when they come, I will be ready to face them and my world without everything falling apart again.


  1. I am so glad that you're trying to contain the chaos. I beat myself up as well over cooking and cleaning, or rather, NOT cooking and cleaning.
    I'm sure you will have setbacks, but that's just fine.
    I'll be thinking of Calvin with you this NOvember, as well as every day:)

    xo Lindsay

  2. I am going to send you my number when I get back from the store. I usually am to shy to reach out but I'm beginning to understand that I can't do this without someone to talk to.
    Thank you so much for the offer and I'm taking you up on it this time.. ;)

    really...thank you

  3. Bringing some order to our surrpundings really hellps when our inside is so chaotic. It is good to know that I can control the shoes that are strewn about the house and the dirty dishes in the sink...but that is about the only mess I can clean up.

  4. This was a lovely post Margaret. It sounds like you've accomplished loads, I also like the feeling of nestling in for the winter. You've inspired me to do the same. Sometimes it just feels good to have the things that we can control, under control and organised.

    Will be thinking of you and remembering Calvin as November approaches. xo

  5. I think organizing the physical stuff in our life helps us deal a bit with the emotional junk. I wanted to let you know that there is a butterfly up for Calvin on my site. I'm sorry it took so long. Click Ella's Parade of Butterflies. :)