After my father died, Dad's friend, Tim, helped put together the playlist for the service, friends and family brought us casseroles, Elena and my teachers ran the reception, I fended off offers to have other young girls read poems at the memorial service (in case I was too emotional--I was not), and later, Mom got rid of his stuff.
His boat, I don't remember what happened to. We sold it, probably.
His motorcycle jacket and SmartWool socks went to my oldest cousin, who is as tall as my dad was. I think we gave them to him at Christmas, a few weeks later.
Elena and I got his jeans, after my aunt got ahold of them and turned them into pillows. Mine lay on my bed for a few years, but I've lost it, now. It might be in Mom's basement.
And the camper we took out, every weekend in the summertime, was sold. There was a family from Michigan, also with two girls, who drove down, specifically to buy it. One Dad, one Mom, and two kids. Just like we used to be. Someone, Mom, probably, took a picture of us standing with them, in front of what was now their van. It's in a photo album in the study.
I had one of his old pots from college when I moved into my own apartment for a while, but I had other pots that were a smaller, more convenient size, so I brought it back. It's probably in the basement--not sure. I just left it in the dining room the last time I was home. Not far from where his hospital bed was ten years ago, actually.
I have his old desk though. I wanted a really gigantic one for my craft area, because I tend to spread out and leave no room for myself to work, so Mom suggested the desk he designed and build for himself in college. It comes apart in five big pieces, so you can move with it easily, and it doesn't use screws. It fits together in pre-cut grooves, like advanced lincoln logs or something.
And I have a poster of spicy peppers that hung in our kitchen when he was alive. It's completely in German, even though he spoke it pretty poorly. I was already correcting his pronunciation when I was seven. Now the poster hangs next to my dining table.
I asked my mom's boyfriend for Dad's old drill, because I'd like to be able to make a shelf for myself, but he only found the drill and the battery charger--none of the drill bits. They're probably buried under all the tools and projects he brought with him when he moved in.
I don't even have the three-ring-binder of the letters people sent us with stories about him--Mom has it, so that she and my aunts can finish adding more stuff they apparently have been collecting, but they haven't touched the album in eight or nine years.
Grampa gave me jewelry he says my Dad told him to buy for me when I graduated high school, but I don't really know if I believe him. The handwriting on the letter looked like Grampa's, even though I think their handwriting was similar, but I don't know anymore.
But that's it. A poster, a desk, half of a drill set, and maybe a necklace is what I've got, twelve years later. And I can't help feeling, that I really, really, maybe, ought to have something, more.