Sunday, April 8, 2007

Memorabilia, Memories, and Emotions

Going through all the stuff you’ve collected over the years can be a journey to the past. And that journey can be very emotional, especially when you’ve had kids: you’ll find all the boxes of pictures they painted in first grade… the ones they did just for you; the school projects and creative works they did growing up and were so proud of; some of their books; the little knick-knacks purchased on that trip to the beach one summer; the toys that meant so much to them at one time; the collections they were so proud of, the trophies and awards, and so much more. All these things are far more than mere objects. The term “stuff” seems to devalue them.
And they are so much more than they appear to an outsider. They’ve got long strings attached — strings that are magical in that they actually travel through time and connect our minds to those special little people that used to live with us — those same little people that aren’t with us any more, will never be with us again, because they’ve grown up and become different people — their own people. They’re not ours anymore. They came from us, lived with us, but aren’t ours anymore because they are their own persons, with their own lives, with their own interests and passions and, and…. little people of their own. And the cycle starts again.
We’ve listened to advice that says we should just give it all to them since they’ll eventually have to deal with it themselves anyway. But the emotions that come from these things are part of what we are. And for all the years we’ve lived here, those emotions were packed away in boxes the whole time, right over there, only to be released as we contemplated cutting those strings with the past.
No, some things will stay with us. Some things will just have to be disposed of after we’re gone.