Imagine you're 81 years old.
You decide to move from your two-story, split level home--4 bedrooms and 3 bathrooms--into a 1 bedroom, 1 bathroom ground floor condo.
It makes sense. It costs money to cool a large house and at 81, it's difficult getting up and down stairs.
You decide sooner is better than later, so you tell your children that you plan to move within the month.
Somehow it will all work out.
You give away items every time a loved one visits, endowing them with books, appliances, pictures, canned goods and whatever else you can get them to take.
You clear out media, videos, and about 1/4 of your books--donating them.
You have a charity coming to take old furniture for donation to their company.
But now you're to the point where everything feels significant and the act of moving is weighing you down.
So your granddaughter comes over to help move dishes. She begins to pack each plate carefully--noticing mismatched goblets and flutes. But you can't get rid of the tall champagne glass! That was from your grandson's wedding! And four gravy bowls... you might not have the energy to host a large dinner, but a good cook is always prepared to host a feast. So you pack it all. All the memories must go. Everything feels significant. Every book you've read, every spoon, glass. You let her throw out one water stained glass--but even that felt difficult.
How do you let go without dismissing the memory?
It's easier to just hold on and let someone else do it later.
What if you die and your grandson discovers you didn't keep the champagne glass from his wedding? What would he think? Would he know that you cherished it for years after?
All these things are evidences of love. The love that lives in the memories and the love you feel for the memory as you hold onto it.
I imagine at 81, I'll cling to certain funny little items too.
Today I am grateful that love and memory is easily portable.
And for the less portable memories-I'm grateful for moving boxes.