Mom always kept a clean house.
She had a good a system.
Most everything was organized.
All on the outside, that is.
Now I clearly understand why I enjoy doing laundry.
It’s not just the sorting of dirty clothes on the outside.
It’s also an inner cleansing that happens as I separate whites from colors.
Like housework, only the cleaning is internal.
Mom tried hard to fix things internally.
She tried to put us all together and help patch things up.
With her prolonged illness and her mind intact, I do believe she thought about this endlessly.
With illness, somehow it does bring family together.
Not quite when mom was alive.
The timing was not right and we were all too busy to sort laundry.
So the mess just kept piling up, clutter in every corner left unattended.
When she passed we all came together to lay her to rest but that was it.
Now it’s dad’s turn.
His illness is slow, giving him time to finish what mom could not accomplish in her lifetime.
He’s got his own system that seems like it’s focusing on the outside but actually it’s activity that touches everyone very much on the inside.
I woke up one early morning feeling very light.
Like a rock has been lifted off me!
One by one things are sorting itself out in my direction.
All the junk I’ve harbored internally suddenly wants to release itself.
For a moment I held my breath in doubt.
But then I realized what for?
Immediately I decided that it’s time to discard the trash.
And then I thought about dad.
He’s picking up from where mom left off, gathering the crew and initiating a clean up once again.
This time around it all feels right.
There are no heavy stains of resistance.
It’s an easy clean, accepting and forgiving.
As I continue to confront and complete things, there’s a deep sense of fulfillment and satisfaction I get from sorting laundry.