Cleaning the Garage

The following reflection was written in 2003, when I was between 25 and 26 years old.


My grandfather had been gone nearly three years. The house was clean for the most part, ready to be sold off to a buyer who would eventually tear it down. The garage where Grandpa had worked on his cars for years, which sat across the street, was an entirely different story. In fact, the house was clean in great part because they had moved everything over to the garage. We were consolidating the mess.

Mom needed help cleaning the garage at the beginning of the Summer of 97 and I didn’t have anything to do. So, I ended up helping her. We did this a few times and we talked about everything, bonding in a way I can’t really describe. I cherish the memories of those afternoons we spent cleaning things up and then going down to look at the beach nearby and then sometimes stopping at a fast-food joint on the way home.

We talked about what kind of job I might get and how I wanted a computer so badly, despite my Dad’s stern opinion on the matter (He didn’t want me buying anything until I’d paid off all the money he’d invested in my college education). It was quality time with my Mom.

It also gave me some time to grieve for my Grandpa, something I’d been putting off for years. As we cleaned up that garage and moved stuff around (I think we did some work on the house too… the last little bit… in fact, we might have done more work on the house than the garage) I think I was finally coming to peace with it.

There was a huge yellow dumpster in the yard and we chucked things into it with abandon. Unless it was vitally important to us or to someone else in the family, we threw it out. It was the only way to finally move on.

I imagined this entry being much more eloquent than it is. Oh well.