There are some things in life that you just can't part with. Well, I guess you can if you have to. We are fortunate enough to have a few items that still exude the essence of Uncle Alfonso and Auntie Marie. These are things I hope I will be able to hold on to and pass down to GK & Ry and that some of the stories will live on through them as well.
After Uncle Alfonso passed, the real large and in charge Sisters of Perpetual Hate and Discontent, alias my dad's sisters, came and put Auntie in a managed care facility and sold her house, her belongings and la la la.
The Sisters went through all of the belongings to see if there was anything that "the family" wanted to perserve. Or put another way, whatever the hell they wanted to keep for themselves. One particularly nasty entity whose name begins with Connie, stood at the same kitchen sink where Auntie M had shared her story of the vision and asked me to leave while the "family" gleened through the items. I was there to pick up my father and I had no other agenda....musta thought I was thinking like them huh?
Keep in mind that their son Billy who the family didn't accept as being part of the family because he was adopted (mudblood I tell you), didn't live in state and Uncle and Auntie had no other offspring. They did have wonderful neighbors who had cared for them everyday, and church people who came by at least 3 times a week and these folks were also asked to not get involved in these goings on and to leave "the family" to do their picking. It was horrible.
I attended the estate sale and purchased some items that I had some attachment to, knowing that the money would be used for Auntie's housing costs.
I got a hand carved chair that was made by one of the men who had worked for my grandfather at the ranch. This chair was carved from a tree that had been struck by lightening. The chair has thick cow hide strips which are woven and nailed with brass nails on the back, the bottom is reinforced with baling wire springs, horse hair padding and then a cow hide seat. The carving is crude and was put together all by hand and made with hand tools. It's kinda ugly but it was a chair that sat next to my grandfather's desk and then my Uncle A's desk where visitors who came to talk business would sit.
A wash basin that Auntie used for gathering chile, peaches, etc. and yes grapes. I also got a collection of her prayer cards and one of her sister Maggie's rosaries.
My Dad took, cause he was one of the looters, three watch chains and watches which were Uncles, a gorgeous star sapphire ring, a cigar cutter, all the ledgers from the ranch, some dating back to 1897, and then dad and the Mother Superior of the Sister's of Perpetual Hate and Discontent split the cash they found in the closet. The amount was in excess of $4000.00. She took it upon herself to cull the photo albums and rescue only the pictures of "the family", which meant that my cousin Billy's baby and growing up pictures, his daughters and ex wife's and all of Aunties pictures which did not include "the family royals" were thrown into a bag and put out to the trash. The only reason I ended up with them is that I happened to be picking up the old SOB and saw the photos and rescued them.
There is Auntie's memory book from Loretto complete with photos from the late 1910's and graduation photos, wonderful caligraphied script and penmanship by her friends and the nuns who taught her, photo albums of their honeymoon in San Diego, and on and on.
I know that the two dearest folks in the world are looking back at this life and forgiving and probably pitying the fools who desegrated their home and minimized who they were. This post probably should have been a rant on YOCG but it was the end of the story, so to speak and I wanted to tell it because, well things are things. I may want to hold on to the things that were theirs because they were precious souls, but the real gifting was the time I spent with them and the love we exchanged. No one can ever take that from any of us when we love freely and honestly.