Thursday, June 07, 2007

Moving Out, Moving On

At the end of Mom's Cancer I wrote that Mom, Nurse Sis and Kid Sis moved to Hollywood and bought a home together, at least partly to realize Mom's life-long dream of living there. In the book's Afterword, added to the last page as it literally went to press, I wrote: "I don't think I ever saw her happier living anywhere than she was in Hollywood. She loved her new neighborhood: the fluorescent bougainvillea spilling over her back fence, the giant avocado tree that dropped guacamole hailstones into her yard, the towering palm at her curb, new friends walking dogs and pushing baby strollers past her door. It was where she needed to be."

I spent the past few days helping my sisters leave that Hollywood house forever. After Mom died, it was simply too much work and expense for them to keep up, and not particularly suited to either of their lifestyles. It was Mom's dream that they shared with her and for her but couldn't continue without her. Kid Sis found a great apartment and moved out several weeks ago. Last weekend was Nurse Sis's turn and it meant making some overdue decisions about Mom's belongings, facing some strong memories and emotions--but mostly it just meant a ton of exhausting work. Packing and moving is hard under any circumstances.

Out of respect for my family's privacy, I never wrote much or posted any photos of that house. Now that they're gone, here are a few pictures of a place that made Mom very happy:

The front porch. Mom loved sitting in the white wicker chairs and talking to passersby like the Queen of the Neighborhood.

Bougainvillea completely covered the backyard fence. Calling it "fluorescent" hardly did it justice.

The giant avocado tree in the yard next door. I shot this a couple of days ago and the tree is considerably cut back from when Mom lived here, when branches hung over the fence and fruit dropped year-round, splatting to the ground to be happily devoured by Mom's dog Hero.

Mom's palm tree, which I suspect was a big reason she had to
have this particular house. It was part of her vision.

It was good to spend time with Mom there and, for my sisters' sake, good to let it go as well. It was necessary and overdue, but sad nonetheless.

1 comment:

Linda Corby said...

That is sad, but I know where you are coming from having lost my daughter Natasha to cancer at the age of twelve.

I also have my autobiography for sale at lulu (, it is called 'Bad Blood' and I completed it as it was one of Natasha's last wishes.

Your Mum's home was beautiful and I am glad that she spent quality time there, good memories are priceless.

Take care and thanks for sharing, Linda