When going through old albums in order to clear out my house, I stopped cold.
I have sorted the treasures of friends and relatives after their passing. I don’t begrudge the time spent, it was a way of knowing more about their lives – touching the things that were important to them. Although I would never have “pawed” through their things during their lifetime, it was a way of being close to them (and legal voyeurism).
And I have thought about my own stuff. Is it important? As a matter of courtesy to those left behind, is it time to strip down? Am I ready to shed my life as it was? I know about attachment to things and its inherent problems. But I also know this stuff – which is the bane of my life – is the keeper of my memories.
As I look around my house I see life choices. It is who I have been and now am, who and what I have loved.I had forgotten that trip, the moment of hilarity, times in foreign places with the man I love. I need that relic in order to bring the mental picture into full relief. Or the photo to jog my emotions.
What stopped me yesterday were the photographs and memorabilia. I don’t live with much regret. Photos of my travels with my friend Mary bring a smile to my lips not a tear to my eye. We lived it up while we lived.
We loved the places we traveled. Especially Greece. Our first trip there included a stop off in Italy, too, but what a marvelous time in Greece. Somehow I always imagined us as the old ladies going through our albums -laughing and crying and remembering strange and wonderful things that happened.
Mary’s dementia put an end to that dream. Her death was the final blow. (b.5-11-30 d.4-21-18)There is no reason to save the endless photos. Here’s a montage of a few of our favorites. And I’ll save a few photos of her. But they are not equal to the memories.
I love Greece. I love Italy. I love Mary. That will go on.