Phoebe's Gift

Phoebe's Gift
Gifted to me while on Retreat at John's River Vally Camp

Thursday, November 19, 2015

(9) Trust and the Second Big Clean Up, November 2015

It was a heartbreaking time after our mother's passing in 2010, both us siblings feeling deep loss, a combination of endings and beginnings, Alfred responding by throwing much of the contents of his cabin down a ravine out the back of his cabin, and me falling silent taking daily walks in nature meditating on an unknown future.

What would Alfred's reaction be to the loss of his Dad, did I need to take action and what action would that be that I would need to take, a resounding silence answered me back, and I did not know.

Four years later, while Dad lay in his study dyeing, I invited Alfred to come over to the big house to give his condolences, and as expected Alfred refused just as he had done while my mother lay passing, refused, denied, just as he denied his mental illness.

Seasons needed changing, and giving more information to Alfred about his circumstances needed to begin by giving him enough information to digest, sometimes daily, sometimes weekly, or sometimes monthly, but sometimes.

So I reminded him again that he had SSI and Medicaid, and that he could continue to live in the cabin and I would continue to take him into town to get his groceries. As it turned out I was glad I had told him this because not knowing what the future held, he said he'd been saving dollars and had planned to leave for Charlotte, live on the Streets, and would probably die there. News that everything would be the same meant for him that he would have his continued security.

Not long after that I knocked on his door, and to my surprise he opened it saying, you can enter anytime!  This represented a change in Alfred, looking around at the condition of his cabin, and me not being a person that can do lots of stuff all at once, I knew I would have to clean it sometime soon or have someone clean it soon or a combination of both, not however until after I went through my own grieving and not until matters of the estate were settled. Even though I was getting a green light from Alfred things would take time and I would need to have the season to focus on making changes for Alfred.

The right season just came this fall 2015 and when the social worker first visited Alfred I peeked in his pantry and bathroom and was shocked at the filth I witnessed and i knew immediately that the price I would pay to have this grim cleaned up would be whatever it took to make things easier for me to get the job done, it had to be done and I went into semi panic mode. How could this have been left for so long!  Guilt and anger arose in me, and a search for a good cleaner began with introductions to bevy of clueless cleaners as I sifted through their realm of services while struggling to accomplish the task at hand, to find someone who would clean Alfred's cabin.

The first clueless cleaner, here referred to as F1 made up a few excuses and ran from the mess, the second cleaner, F2 never returned my call, number three was so good at what he did he was booked solid for months, the fourth clueless cleaner F4 wanted to remove the toilet, that's correct I said they wanted to remove the toilet and this was based on the pictures I had taken of the bathroom to help them make an estimate of the cost. I said, it needs all surfaces cleaned first, and asked him if he wanted to recommend someone and he did recommend cleaner F5, and they were the final trip.

A man and women showed up with a clip board, they looked around, we talked, and they said to clean the cabin they required a new shower head with a hose, use of my vacuum cleaner and change of vacuum bags, and they would not clean under the kitchen sink where some insulation had pilled up due to some nesting going on there. The man would show up with two girls, get them started, and I was to pay him before he left, and when the girls were finished they would call me twenty minutes before so I could inspect. All for the grand price of $750.00!  It's from these two that I get the above name clueless cleaners and it is also from them that I got over my cleaning trauma real quick!

So I offered to pay someone $100/hr to help me clean knowing that whoever took the job would do a good job and would be smiling from here to Timbuktu when finished. I would supply all clensers. I found the perfect person, the same person who'd helped me clean a few hours this summer,  a new business partner perhaps, Perfect Persons who Clean? And we went at it on Sunday morning, wearing gloves and masks, armed with an arsenal of products, and after two hours I paid my cleaning helper $200, and she was thrilled when she let. I cleaned for and additional hour, and left the cabin looking livable again. The only issue I had with my helper was she seemed to want to slam my quality Hoover vacuum cleaner's head into the wall with the back-and-forth movement,  and after getting Alfred laundry I returned to a jammed vacuum because she did not put the bag in tightly enough when she changed it. At that point I let her go. I was glad to have the help and glad the help was glad upon leaving. I only had to spend an additional hour de-jaming the vacuum.  Alfred's cabin is clean  now so I can run in and swipe once or twice every two months and it will stay clean or I can hire someone for much less than $100/hr now that my emotional guilt had been unpacked and cleaned up or I can re-train Alfred to clean his own cabin perhaps this could be a key component to his recovery?  First I may have to convince him to use soap when washing, there was none in the cabin.


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