Well, that didn’t last long.  Time for an update on the Case of the Silent Phone. Mom has already lost her new cell phone.  She got it at the end of April, and now it’s lost in her pile of possessions.  Apparently, it’s been lost for 2 weeks already, AND it’s the second time she’s lost it.  I can’t say I’m surprised.  I knew from the start it was going to be difficult for her.  She’s got hoarded piles on every surface and no where to create a dedicated space for it.

I didn’t hear from her for our regular Sunday chat, but thought maybe she was just sleeping.  Then I called on the anniversary of Dad’s death to let her know I was thinking of her, and figured maybe she was just feeling low and wanted to be alone with her grief.  It makes a whole lotta sense now that I know the cell phone is lost.

At least, I got to see her today.  She told me she just can’t imagine how she lost the phone.  And how she lost another important piece of paperwork she’d filled out and promptly lost.


Then we got to chatting about the carpet in her house and how much she’d LOVE to replace it with hardwood.  Uh huh.  I know the carpet IS hideous.  I lived with it, too.  It was great when I accidentally smushed Play-Doh into it as a child and no one was ever able to tell; maybe you’re familiar with it, too, if you remember the 70s.  But now, there’s probably only 1% of the carpet showing in all the house.

Extreme Makeover

She did admit her house needs a lot of work.  Ha.  Let me repeat that.  HA!  And that the best thing to happen would be for the house to be struck by lightning.  Yup.  That’s what she wishes for.  For her house and home of 33 years to go up in a big ball of flames.  Can you imagine?  My childhood memories in a pile of ash.

Lynn said to her “You’d never make it out in time.”

Mom got that thin smile she effects on when conversation takes this kind of turn, and smugly insisted “Oh yes I would. No problem at all.  I’d just tuck the dog under my arm and away I’d go.”

Sigh.  How do you answer that when you know it simply isn’t true?

And, how would I even know, when she has no way of calling to tell me?


  1. SueB
    Posted August 13, 2012 at 2:41 pm | Permalink

    Hi Rae, I just found your blog from the anti-hoarder’s blog and subscribed via email until I can read it through a feed. My dad was a hoarder and I tried for years to help him clean up, but finally had to accept that as long as he was a competent adult, he could choose to live how he wished. He died nearly a year ago and I (the only surviving child) just finished cleaning out the house, after spending about eight weeks, spread out over the year (I live 400 miles away) working on it. It was such an odd mix of sadness and satisfaction to watch the house get cleared out! His place looked similar to the photos of your mom’s place. I suppose there’s no chance of finding your mom’s cell phone by calling it, eh?

    • Rae
      Posted August 14, 2012 at 3:00 pm | Permalink

      I’m grateful you came by to share your experience, Sue. I’m wondering how long it’ll take to clean out Mom’s place after she’s gone. It’s terrible to even have to have those thoughts. Kudos to you for doing it solo. I’d like to hear more about how you handled it.

      As for calling Mom’s phone…the battery is long dead.

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  1. By How to clear out a hoarders homeNot Just Clutter on August 28, 2012 at 10:40 am

    […] yet I recently got a great comment from a reader named Sue.  She responded to my post The Case of the Silent Phone part 5, and tells us her experience as the daughter of a hoarder.  Her advice about how to clear out a […]

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