What was I to do with all of those cables, strewn like cobwebs? This labyrinth of electric potentiality hangs twisted on the back wall behind the basement stairs. It's volume seems sinister to me. But it's just a bunch of wires, I tell myself.
And what about his workbench? How does one even begin to classify this stuff? Paint, soldering wire, random screws, a geiger counter or whatever that is. It boggles my mind and I am known in my family as a gifted organizer.
Besides, his coffee mug is still sitting on the shelf, like he just left the room to go find some duct tape. I dare not touch anything here, lest I anger his spirit and am attacked by this monstrosity:
I'm not a superstitious person, by nature, but I can't help feeling that disturbing the things in this room would cause some handyman's curse to fall on my head, if not an ancient drill which dangles from the ceiling. Perhaps if we had gone through this stuff very soon after he passed, this room wouldn't seem so heavy with the dust of pall.
But who could face this room that was so much his so soon after he left us? It's too much to bear. I had had quite a few starts while we moved box after lamp after couch after box. My Dad, who was unloading the truck by handing us boxes, turned around with a clear tupperware container that had my Grandpa's burial flag standing up on it's point against the transparent plastic. I wasn't prepared to see that flag in such a casual position, as if it were one of so many towels. As we moved a vanity from my Grandma's spare room, I nearly jumped out of my skin as I caught my own reflection in a mirror, thinking it was an angry ghost.
Though this task of moving was arduous and full of emotional peril, I'm glad I was there to help. I learned that my Grandpa's favorite song was "Somewhere, My Love," from the movie Dr. Zhivago. I saw momentos of his life with my Grandma: 25th anniversary plate, 35th anniversary plate, 50th anniversary clock. And I studied a handmade music box in the shape of a grand piano that tinkled out his favorite song.
A few days later, when we had my Grandma, Mom and Dad settled into their new home, I sat on the couch in the living room, as my family were gathered around the breakfast bar, talking about the new washer and dryer. I saw a glow on my Grandma's face that I haven't seen in years. She was talking about how the dryer worked and what her plans were for vacuuming (she would use her favorite vacuum to spot clean and the house vacuum system for weekly and thorough cleaning. She was lit from within.
We are all so much happier, back in one place. It's different but better. Sure, we miss Grandpa. We miss Gail. But we're together, at last, whole again, home.