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Susan Fekete
Susan Fekete loves using both sides of her brain. She is gregarious, opinionated, intelligent, and unabashed. She's grateful that her husband, friends, and dog love her both for it and in spite of it. She's a born entrepreneur and is always dreaming about her next great life adventure and of how she'll write about it. These days she's often buried in her laptop working on the June 2018 release of her first book, "Ten Boxes: A Story of Stuff".

The Stuff That Came Between Mom and Me: A Story About Hoarding

Getty / Illustration by Katie Kosma

Susan Fekete | Longreads | March 2018 | 13 minutes (3,541 words)


I lived in Atlanta for six years after college. I only went back to St. Pete twice in that time, and both times I stayed with my aunt Linda.

Mom would make excuses about not having cleaned the house, not having done laundry, and therefore not having clean sheets on my bed. It made me sad, a little, because I knew they were lies. I knew her house was full.

Full — floor to ceiling, windows to walls — of stuff. Her mass of belongings included objects de art, trinkets, furniture, memorabilia, books, magazines, journals. And many cats, especially ones with extra toes. Although no one was sure anymore how many of those — or of anything else for that matter — she had.

When I visited, she came over to my aunt’s house, and we hugged and laughed and loved each other greatly and talked for hours on end. About everything.

Everything except the stuff in her house. My mother was a terrific metaphysician, passionate about the world around her and the lives of others. She was spiritual even at her darkest moments, and funny even in her greatest sorrows. She was a joy to be around, if you could avoid the stuff.
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