Day 2: So I’m walking around the house, peering into each of the rooms, and I KNOW and recognize that everything in every room must go. In my rational thinking, I know that I should just start physical packing, room by room. But suddenly, as I enter each space, a flood of memories interrupt the thought. I walk into my daughter’s room, and open her closet, and realize that it appears that she still lives there! Apart from her “off- season” clothes, there are her childhood collections, her personal photo albums, favorite books, childhood collections, an endless amount of memorabilia. Of course, everything is boxed and labeled…It’s ORGANIZED, of course …I organized it! I saved all her paramount school projects (labeled by grade level from Kindergarten through High School), saved and boxed camp letters, Bar and Bat-mitzvah give-aways, Sweet 16 Birthday cards and memory candles, and even her cheer-leading pom-poms!! So how hard could it be? First lesson learned……. just because I don’t have the overwhelming task of organizing it all (probably like most) doesn’t make the “parting” any easier. I look at her bed, and I tear up, recalling the incalculable nights that I either tucked her in, or rescued her from a recurring nightmare, or enjoyed our typical tender moments together.
I didn’t need to go any further to realize this was going to be a circuitous pattern with any room I entered. My footprints and heartstrings are engraved and attached on every wall, on every molding, in every drawer, and memory stains on every quilt. When I proceeded to my son’s rooms, a new litany of emotions smacked me in the face. There were so many framed photos of HIS past, HIS life and friends, that both he and I clearly have no room for. Do I just box, label, and store as buried treasure? Is this all just clutter? How could we have accrued so many baseball hats and team jerseys for just one little head and one body? Shouldn’t I keep his first Home Economics Project (a hand-sewn fabric shark) to show his future child one day? I am struck with how “priceless” some physical memories are to us. Interestingly, I have less issues with the parting of the innumerable sport trophies that are merely collecting dust and that were awarded to every athlete that was on the team of that particular sport. But that said, I am very cognizant that this move is not going to be “slam-dunk”….This is not going to be easy.
So as the day comes to a close, I face the realities that I have much organizing to do, and letting go, but not yet. Not today. Today was for “feeling,” maybe tomorrow will be for “doing.”
As I prepare for bed, I intentionally distract myself from thinking about down-sizing my own bedroom and the challenges that will eventually ensue, until I enter the spacious walk-in closet with all my customized particulars, and sigh, realizing I cannot take the built-ins with me. But that’s for another day. Time for bed, and hopefully sleep.