Tag: aging parents

Moving Mother: Paper Trails


Though she was a career secretary, Mother detests filing, and today she had to sift and sort through myriads of papers in search of That One Important Document That We Need. The pull on her was visible, and she is determined to be finished tomorrow so she can move on to other things that she finds infinitely more fun. Like organizing the bed linens, for example.

I love the papers. I love the feel of paper so old it’s brittle and the signatures of people I’ve known like my daddy and granddaddy. Love to read and see how things fit together. I find answers to questions I didn’t even know I had.

Mother finds nothing about papers nostalgic or interesting, though she does consider the shredder the best $85 she’s ever spent.

Decades ago, I created copies of our God Forbid Book (as in God Forbid you ever need this information, but . . . ) I created years ago, filled with all the information the kids might ever need to know. That’s now been replaced with a scanned version stored in the cloud to which the children have been given directions and access. There are still plenty of papers for them to wade through, though. I’d never deprive them of that. . .

Moving Mother Begins


We’re having The Big Clearing here at Mother’s house. It’s harder than you might think. I didn’t realize how much I rely on Mother to be the museum for our family, holding onto our history.


Tuesday night, we found bundles of letters I’d written to her over the years. I’ve always – and I do mean always – been an epistolary kind of girl. I still swoon at the sight of some of the stationery I had and remember using. Swoon-worthy stationery is so hard to find now, you know. I still have an impressive collection of seals. Could use some more sealing wax, though.

One of these letters I wrote Mother and Daddy the day I left for college. Another was penned as a newlywed. One is written from college. My handwriting has changed a lot.





We found coupon books I created one year when I could not think of a single thing to put under the tree for Mother and Daddy. (Important note: make them cute and clever enough, and they’ll never redeem them.)

These are the easy decision things. They don’t take up too much room, and the decision is already made: they go in the Keep box. This is where we start. With the easy no-brainers.

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Hey, Sugar! I'm Jeanne Hewell-Chambers: writer ~ stitcher ~ storyteller ~ one-woman performer ~ creator & founder of The 70273 Project, and I'm mighty glad you're here. Make yourself at home, and if you have any questions, just holler.

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