“What was the strangest thing you found cleaning out your parents’ house after they died?” (post-)#AskWednesday

Until I read Debbie The Doglady’s post, I could have forgotten this. I had planned on posting this sometime ago but never had the right time or chance to do so. I did think of sharing it for Valentine’s, but I also felt it would have been kind of a sad reminder for some who are still grieving for our parents, so I didn’t.

I was doing some legit research one day, I don’t remember what about, but as most researches went, I stumbled on something else. I found this question posted on Quora:

“What was the strangest thing you found cleaning out your parents’ house after they died?”

My parents on New Year's Eve 2011

My parents on New Year’s Eve 2011

I could have answered, but I wasn’t planning on joining Quora. Also, I didn’t think I had any answer to that. I still don’t.

My father had a mild stroke when I was 20 and since then, he was unable to go to work, work being a teacher in elementary Math, Physical Education, and Gardening & Shop (I have no idea what those subjects were called then exactly and I think they have new names now). So maybe, whatever secrets he could have hidden, if there were any at all, my mother had long ago gotten rid of them. I know of one I found when I was young, but that doesn’t count because he was still so alive back then. So when he died in May 2012, I didn’t find any strange thing that belonged to him.

Meanwhile, my mother, who was a Geometry and Trigonometry teacher, had nothing physical to hide either, not to my knowledge, nothing strange that I found, at least. There were several secrets about her personal experiences that I found out after she died in July 2012, some things she did not tell me because she knew I would get mad that she let people do that to her, but they were nothing near strange.

I think the reason that I still haven’t found anything “strange”, surprising or shocking is because I have lived in our family’s house all my life (well, except when I was/am gone the whole week working). Non-Filipinos may go, “What???” and think “Adult and still living in her parent’s house?” Let me tell you now that Filipinos are family-oriented and living with one’s parents doesn’t necessarily make him/her dependent and useless. It is common in our culture, especially the extended family culture…

My parents were teachers and most things that I find that belonged to them are clothes, personal effects that I mostly knew anyway, various school-related stuff like books for lesson plans, IDs, lovely notes from students (especially for my mother, whose hoarding tendencies I happen to have inherited). I’m just thinking maybe I’m better off not knowing anything in case it happens to be something I’ll regret finding out.

Now that I have answered the question, I am sharing to you some of the worthy answers I found on Quora. I’d rather share the nice ones because I’d rather that we remember our parents fondly. Click on them to get to the actual pages if you want to.

quora1Click on the image so you get to be redirected to the link he gave and see what he’s talking about.

quora3This is something that I would have liked to have found. I wish I could learn more about my parents, their experiences, their thoughts, their worries, their dreams…This only emphasizes how important it is to not wait and get to know your parents more while they’re still alive, because time will come that they won’t be able to tell you anything anymore. Except for their lesson plans, my parents did not seem to have inclinations towards creative writing, which is most probably why there are no journals for me to visit in the first place.

quora4Again, one of the things I regret is emphasized here. I regret to not having video-recorded my parents (I tried, but my low-tech phone wasn’t much help,…I could have found a way and borrowed, but didn’t. Sadly.). I did not even record their voices! Now all my sister and I have of them are like the Jim Croce song: ‘Photographs and Memories’. It would have been better to see and hear them alive and talking and laughing once in a while when we’re missing them…

quora5Finding such bills would have been awesome, I gotta admit 🙂 Anyway, my father had quite a sense of humor, too, which I would not have known had he not gotten sick. It seemed he went back to his former and younger self and in the next years of his life, I got to know more of how he was as a younger man. I’m sure he was like that to his friends before the mild stroke, but at home, he was stricter. So the “change” was somehow drastic.

quora2Alright, I couldn’t help it. This one’s kind of sad in the end. Still, the mother thought of buying gifts for her children…


Make sure you click on this to see the whole of it…This reminds me of my parents, especially my mother whom her students adored. I found similar letters and cards given to her, but I really was not surprised. I had known since I was little that she was getting such expressions of appreciation from her beloved students.



I hope you liked what I shared.  How about you, “What was the strangest thing you found cleaning out your parents’ house after they died?” Again, the comments section is for your perusal 🙂

**NOTE: I thought I’d add this since I mentioned the song. It has always made me sad even before losing my parents, but now it means so much more to me. I actually just teared up having listened to it. It’s a lover’s love song, but it can very well be a song for a loved one who has gone on before you.

15 thoughts on ““What was the strangest thing you found cleaning out your parents’ house after they died?” (post-)#AskWednesday

    • It is both rather nice and sad, isn’t it? Nice that we discover things about them and find stuff that can help us remember them by. Sad, because what we’d give now to have known them better when they were still with us…

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Thanks for the mention and the link, J.Gi. 🙂 You know my answer to this question and maybe others who are curious will come and read my post.
    How sad that your parents died within months of each other! I’m so sorry for your loss. Thankfully, you didn’t find any weird stuff. The extended family is something I’m familiar with, through my Italian husband. Children generally live at home until they get married and even then sometimes, they live there with their spouses.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Extended families…I had a longer reply regarding this, but I figured that should be in an other post or more related topic.

      No problem about the mention 🙂

      My father was sick but the death was sudden. I thought he would outlive my mother. My mother’s death was kind of gradual. The fact that they died just two months after each other was kind of a blessing–I did not want my mother to suffer anymore. But everyone knew I did everything because my thinking was, “As long as she’s breathing, I will keep her alive. I know that if it’s really her time to die, she will. But for now, that’s not up for me to decide. It’s up for me to make sure I do not give up on her and let her know she is loved. It’s the best way I can show her that I do.”


    • Ha ha! That’s cute. I am betting she kept that because it was amusing. I probably would keep something like that, too. Imagine wearing it and people going, “Oh no! Eek! There’s a roach on your hair!!!”

      Thanks for sharing, Annette 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • So I was going through past posts and trying to visit commenters’ blogs. I re-read your comment and I realized that maybe “roach” meant something else. So I just Googled it now and…HA HA HAAA!!! NOW, I feel so silly!!! Now, I know what it is. To think that I said it was cute!

      Sorry. I think you decided not to say anything so as not to embarrass me. So thank you! 😀


  2. My parents divorced when I was three and my father died in 1990. I never really knew him, and I was living in the US already when he died. My mother lost the use of her legs in late 2015 and entered a home for the aged (her choice). I was the one that went through her stuff and the oddest thing I found was a tiny elephant made of ivory the I never saw before. It turned out to be a gift to my mother from my father before they were married and it obviously meant a lot to her as she kept it for all those years. She gave it to me and it is the only thing I have from my father.

    Liked by 1 person

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