Monday, September 8, 2008
Jerry and I spent this weekend at his parents in Virginia assisting them in downsizing and preparing their home for sale for their eventual move to a retirement community near our home.
Do you know how difficult it is to go through someone else's things and make recommendations on what to keep and what not to keep? I thought it would be so easy to make my "keep," "donate," and "trash" piles, but it was much more involved than that. I was privileged to see the coat hanger that belonged to Jerry's grandfather, touch the vase that was sitting in his grandmother's room as she lay dying in his childhood home, go through a lifetime of cherished crafts (from quilting, floral arranging and sewing that Alice loved, to Bill's beloved gardening). Thankfully, Bill and Alice are able to fill in the blanks when we can't figure out why there are 15 pairs of gardening gloves (Bill couldn't find one, so he bought another pair...) or why there was 8 garbage sacks of fabric remnants (Alice used to go to an upholstery store and purchase remnants for her quilting).
This weekend was a special time for us to get know Jerry's parents a little better and appreciate what they have done through the years. It is helping me to figure out that memories lie not in things but lie within our hearts and souls and the stuff we acculumate can drag us down, if we let it. Bill & Alice were paralyzed by the overwhelming amount of things to sort through. Now I want to go through my own house and purge, purge, purge and really look at the things that I surround myself with. Are my "things" keeping me from moving forward or are they a gentle reminder of a cherished memory? A little is fine, but too much is a drag!