It’s that time of year when the boss flies off to go skiing amidst gaining CME’s for her license and we, the workers, get a week off over spring break. And so great ideas abounded before and some actually happened.
Monday: I opened the storage room door. I closed it. I just couldn’t…not now. Let’s do laundry and dishes. Yes, that’s much easier.
Tuesday: OK, can’t wait any longer, I opened the storage room door again. Grabbed a couple boxes and started going through them. I smiled. I laughed. I shook my head. And at times, held back a tear. Those boxes held the memories of my life spanning a good 20 years. I started saving tidbits and things when I was about 14-15 and in high school, thinking that someday I would pass things on to my daughter or son. But here I am at 50 with no children and no hopes of anyone to pass them on to.
There were letters and do-dads, and fun and sadness. But most of all, I found bits and pieces of me from long ago. I found ticket stubs from games gone by and ribbons from flowers and gifts long received. I found my Sierra’s rabies dog tags from all of her life. I found letters and cards from birthdays and holidays long ago sent by friends and family. I found letters from the many many prisoners I used to write and visit. I found newspapers and clippings of stories and comics that were sent to me from places I used to live. I found memories and thoughts of a me that has changed and moved on. I relocated key chains and baubles, wedding invitations and bubbles, funeral programs and prayer cards.
And a few hours later I had a handful of things to keep and full boxes of things that could be let go. I realized that I had carried these memories in paper and glass and plastic and metal form for years. I have moved many many times over the last 30 years and each time I carried some of these things with me. Filing memories in a box that never got reopened unless it was in the hopes of finding a picture. By storage room is a mess of things that I will never look at again and no longer need.
I tried to think of why I saved these things anyhow. Was it to make me feel as though I mattered to someone at some point in my life? Or perhaps that I just didn’t want to let go of the past? Or could it be that right now, I am loved by a wonderful man and no longer need these things? Or could it be something as mundane as I have no more room to put things and something must go? Perhaps a bit of all of the above.
I am also in the process of creating my family tree. And I see how important some pictures and papers and certificates can be. So I did try to find as much as I could that could help in that…and then perhaps those will find their way to the garbage can as well (after being digitally preserved, of course).
It was a tad hard to really give up all of the tangible evidence of my existence in those boxes, but in another way it was refreshing. Like scabs being removed…it hurts, but then healing can begin.
So have you looked in your closets and storage areas lately? What will you find? A bit of yourself? Perhaps. Or perhaps you’ll find a life well lived and well cherished. You might even find old friends and long ago loves. I did.