Remembering the Journey

You know, sometimes it's easy for me to get caught in the negative parts of the
past. I am compassionate, so when I read others' stories of where their parents
are I am swept back into the disaster that was my childhood home and my mother's
nest for so long.

But it's important to stop and look at the more recent parts of the journey.
Although not for everyone, being chosen and able to be a part of "Hoarders" was
a major miracle for me and for my mom. It's been almost one year since my mother
was carted to the hospital with life-and-limb threatening sores on her feet,
deep in depression, delusional from infection.

And when I stop and really think back to this time last summer...

I stand amazed and blessed and shocked at the wonder of all that has changed!

No, my mother didn't magically become Martha Stewart with neatly organized
cubbies throughout her room and "a home for everything and everything in its
home". Yes, the idea that form follows function and vice versa is still foreign
to her. But so much has changed for her and for me.

My mom has a safe place to live, in a very good neighborhood, with AC and heat
and three delicious warm meals each day. She has someone to help her with tasks
that she can't physically (and even psychologically) do on her own and her place
in the world allows her to ask. It's okay to have a need there. Trash exits her
room every day or two. Used adult diapers have a place that is hygienic until
the staff can remove them. The floor is clear and clean. My mom is integrated
into a group of people at similar stages in their lives. She is connected to a
church that she loves. Her medical needs are all being met.

In many ways, my mother wants for nothing.

Sure, Mom's bed has a tendency to get things atop it that she can't/doesn't put
away. But honestly, and perhaps it's not for me to judge--her money bought the
bed and the electric-assist recliner, she seems more comfortable sleeping in her
chair. Is that a crime? I guess not.

Sure, I still wince at the idea of spending hours alone with her, but she hasn't
yelled or gone crazy in rage but one time last fall before her meds were worked
out. Overall, the worst is her tone of voice and even that happens only

When I remember how the process went last fall...our flight on August 30th,
calling Matt at Clutter Cleaner on the 3rd...and filming beginning on October
2nd and finishing on October 4th. Within two weeks of having the house cleaned
out, I had a signed cash sales contract on the home. One month later, November
9th, I moved my mom out of the nursing home into Maryland and into her new
apartment/assisted living in Spokane. I almost never had a door closed in my
face or a request denied. It was a whirlwind but I would do it all over again!

It's so important to remember the wonder and miracle of that time in our lives.
Although we still have struggles, they are nothing compared to what used to be.
And I am so grateful for that. The experience has made me what I am today.

And if I do say so myself, I'm pretty awesome :)

…The Lord will open to me His good treasure, the heavens to give the rain to my land in its season and to bless all the work of my hands. I shall lend to many nations but I shall not borrow. The Lord will make me the head and not the tail; I shall be above only and not beneath, if I heed the commandments of the Lord my God which He commands me today and am careful to observe them. --paraphrase of Deuteronomy 28:12-13


Unknown said…
Great post, Ceci. I'm so glad you did the show: for you, your mother, your whole family, other children of hoarders, and also for the general public. Because of your bravery, many people gained a deeper understanding of hoarding and the way it affects entire families.
Thanks and bravo!

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