Hey, Mama, I’m Keeping Your Junk (What I Found While Stuck at Home Cleaning Closets)

Dear Mama,

No one is any more surprised than I.  Neither of us ever imagined the day when I would hesitate to throw anything in the garbage.  This is your junk. It’s tangible. I touch it. I see it. A little burst of happiness explodes with laughter.  Remember the arguments you and I had about keeping things vs. throwing them away?  

“Mama do you have any carbon paper from 30 years ago before you could “Xerox, a copy.”

 “As a matter of fact, I do.  Look in that filing cabinet under “C”.  

 “You’re kidding.”

“No, I’m not.  Just get what you need and leave the rest. Don’t take the whole pack.  Somebody else might need some other time.

“Good, gosh! What don’t you have in this filing cabinet?” 

“I’ll save everything while your throw yours away.   You can keep your cabinet tops and closets clean and when you need something, come get mine.”  

My tone was laced with sarcasm.

 “Okay, there’s no sense in us both having cluttered houses.”  

Same tone. Right back at me.

Coming to grips with your death has been difficult for me.  I often wonder if I told you enough how much I loved you. Our lives were so intertwined. 

All that “stuff” we argued about? It’s piled up in the shed just off my carport.  You said many times, “nobody wants this worn out stuff of mine.”  

You were right, because it is still sitting there.  

Like so many others, I’m at home avoiding the first global pandemic in a century. Many people on this Earth will be coming to grips with the deaths of their own loved ones. I pray we make it through.

To keep my hands busy and thoughts occupied, I’m cleaning out closets today.  A few things of yours remain, and those I will store, for a while longer,

 But, Mama, I still wonder, ‘why did you keep all this stuff?’  I don’t have an answer and guess I never will.  So, I’ll keep it for now. 

 If it’s still here when I leave this earth, Wendy & Ashley can decide what to do with it. They will probably keep it, too.