A couple of months ago I did what I thought was going to be the hardest thing in my life. I spent some time packing up things. Not just any thing, but those items that belonged to my daughter. Yesterday I mentioned it being one of those things that takes you outside of every life lesson, theory on the natural order of things, and forces you to recognized that everything can shift in a moment. Some moments are drawn out. While others happen when you aren’t even in the room. But the lingering effects are hard to adjust to.
It’s a little harder when you are trying to figure out without the helping hand of another what should be done with a few things. Did she have an opinion about where something should go? Was it even something that should be donated in the first place? You can have the mindset that the other person is gone as well, but that only works for a little while. Reality is a fun thing when you learn to accept it. I had to that day, more than at any other time.
These things had to be done before I left the house. I wasn’t selling the place, but I escaped to another state to get what I needed for myself. My work in progress status fluctuating at random times. So these boxes sat in the hallway waiting for my return. That was until my mother thought she would get involved. She needed to take over for a little bit, have some control over her own emotions. I can’t fault her for that, but it is still something I need to eventually face.
When I cleaned out my grandparent’s place, I learned a bunch of things I didn’t know about them. Mostly because our relationship was so poor, I never cared enough to be around as an adult. So when you start looking through passports or piles of pictures, something shifts. I still didn’t care enough to ask anyone, but it did make me wonder what kind of relationship we could have had under different terms.
Donating the items you picked out, things you remember going to the store to purchase or add to some registry/Amazon list; those are trips down good memories. You try to cling to them and push out that last one. The one that makes it so hard to do any of this. Books left unread, clothing still sitting on a hanger with the tags on because you found something on sale that was just right, but not the right size! Adults talk about a life left unimagined, but for kids we’re talking about a life left unrealized. Questions within other questions, some nagging at you while others fade just as quickly.
I’ve tried to make arrangements for things to be picked up, but from a distance trying to coordinate time is humorous. “We can give you a window of when someone could be there.” “That’s hard when I’m 400 miles away!”
So these boxes will be sitting there for the time I eventually get back to a different reality. Or maybe it is my reality and I have just sidestepped everything. An alternate reality? Not really, but maybe a paradox of what life should be if I allowed it to unfold differently.
I still can’t get over how perfect a day February 11, 2014 was until it wasn’t. The sun was shining, it was warm and I thought I had it all. Guess not! Actually I did have it all, I just had a limit on the time I was going to be allowed to keep it.