This week, the boys have thrown themselves into a big project, cleaning up the garage. The space that had been Mark’s workshop was a wall-to-wall cluttered mess, a nagging reminder of loss, and of everything that wasn’t getting done (“Throw that in the garage, we’ll deal with it later“).
As of tonight, the dirt and detritus has been swept up, the junkiest junk removed to the curb, and a local thrift store is a little richer after a big-item donation.
More of Mark’s things have been bequeathed per his instructions, and are now in their next home.
It’s a good/sad feeling, as with most things related to grief. The garage was him, his space, where the hardworking husband and father could escape into the work that he loved. Into the Man-seum. (Man+Museum = Man-seum.) Mark never got the Man-seum finished, of course. It was not possible to finish such a place. Not a man cave, the Man-seum would be a functional, comfortable, ridiculous, interactive parody of a man cave. I don’t remember everything that Mark had concocted, but I know there was talk of a Wall of Plaid, and a tribute to the recliner, and beer and football would be prominently featured.
Mark loved musing about the Man-seum. How many of his ideas he might have eventually implemented, we’ll never know. I do know that the clean garage would make Mark really, really happy. He was a man who appreciated order, especially in his work space.
The project isn’t finished. There’s more stuff to be dealt with, more organizing and putting away. But, for the most part, what seemed insurmountable is done.
And how do I feel about that? How do I feel about more of Mark being removed from my life? Sad, and kinda creeped out, to be honest. But also relieved. And hopeful, a little. And grateful for a little breathing room, a little more room to breathe.