i am sorting through my stuff because i am visiting my daughter tomorrow and i plan to pass things on to her. i have so much stuff. i had no idea. the wooden chair i bought for dominic when he was two...he's now nine. the dolls for my granddaughters, makenna and riley, that belonged to their mother. a plastic frisbee, compliments of the walpole band concert i attended a few years ago. perfect for grandson, andrew, now four. and dishes. silverware. glasses. towels. a quilt.
i thought my bedroom was fairly clean and neat until i began to look at my shelf above the computer...a small, black plastic poodle i won at an arcade with my aunt ruth when i was a child. i gave it to her because it reminded me of her poodle, cheri. and she kept it until she died. and i reclaimed it after her death because i couldn't bear to see it tossed away. i remember how many tickets i collected at the arcade to buy that poodle, how many balls i rolled playing skeeball, how much fun i had that night...the summer evening, the ocean breeze, the boardwalk laughter...
there is the wooden submarine that dad brought home from one of his subvet conventions, the one i rescued from the recycling bin, after his death. the poem he wrote, in his shaky parkinson's handwriting, that won him free ice cream at the walpole creamery in 2008...i have it. the framed photo of the four sisters, from pam...when we were four sisters, before cheryl's death. a picture my little brother, aj, drew and mailed to my aunt..her boston address scribbled in his first grader's hand. probably the last time he wrote to aunt ruth. he was struck by a car and died that summer. aj was seven.
i used to laugh at people who saved everything. now i understand. it isn't the things we value so much as the memories attached to those things...how do you part with your memories? i can't.