In an attempt to normalize my retirement into something a little less complicated and chaotic, I decided it was time to do some decluttering around the old homestead. So I headed off on a mission to get rid of anything no longer useable. I scrounged around in the forgotten corners of everyday living. Pulled down old boxes hidden away on closet shelves. Rummaged through various ‘junk’ drawers filled with unrecognizable items and hauled out all those totes of neglected memories that were long ago stuffed into the darkest pits of uselessness…known as the basement and attic.
At first glance, I believed them to be just more clutter that would soon be headed for the trash container. Things like plastic bins of pens with no ink, sticky note pads that no longer had any stick and dried up colored markers that had been saved away so many years ago… because who knew when they might come in handy. Most of these were disposed of quickly. This was going to be one of those ‘honey do’ weekend tasks that I would make short work of and be done with in time to watch the ball game.
But as I sifted through the various totes and containers, I realized that each memento once occupied the center stage of the drama we call ‘our lives’. Things that had been so important to us that they were worth lugging around the world as we moved from one house to another. There were so many memories of our past lives hiding away in those boxes and totes. Trophies that I am not sure which child won them, photographs of people whose faces I had forgotten. Pressed flowers from prom’s and weddings, half-written stories and poems, love letters sent and received.
I learned some valuable lesson buy reading those old poems and examining the faces of those people that were with us in our childhood. They all told me a story. Stories about who we were so many years ago and how we became the people we are today. So I returned each box to its former place of honor. Perhaps someday, after we have no need for mementos or memories, our grandchildren will go through all our boxes of treasures. Just maybe, they will get a little bit better understanding of who we were. I hope it brings a smile to their heart.