As a new year is born, so is our desire to organize our lives. This year, my husband and I decided that we would take on the task of cleaning our garage. And, what a task this has been! Having no basement, we use our garage as a place to put things that we are not using, but “may use again someday.” My husband had already cleaned out a lot of things that were fun to reminisce over, but easy to donate to a better cause. Our old clothes that were in good condition, furniture that we no longer use, books, records, VHS tapes, etc., etc., etc.
However, in the middle of the garage sat a stack of items that he needed me to look at. And, though he kept asking, I would not go in there and talk about getting rid of them. In the stack were the car seat we brought our babies home in, the high chair where both of our children learned to eat, the stroller we pushed many a time through the local parks, precious dresses, ruffled outfits, bows and shoes that we could remember our children wearing to various occasions, baby toys, a pack-and-play, bottles, receiving blankets, and diaper bags.
My in-laws also parted with items this holiday. When we all arrived on Christmas night, they asked each of their 5 children to go into the basement, where they had tables lining the walls with years of holiday decorations. Each child picked the items that they deemed special and my mother in law (whom the grandkids call TwoMama) said she had kept her most precious items and would get rid of the rest to downsize into a smaller home.
My father-in-law (whom the grandchildren call Bubba) also promised my daughter that when he moved she could have his mother’s piano he and her great aunt learned to play. Oh, the joy this brought to Emily and how she certainly looks forward to her first piano lesson. I asked Bubba why they would get rid of such a beautiful heirloom, and he said, “We aren’t getting rid of it, we are giving it to our granddaughters.”
I thought a lot about what TwoMama and Bubba said, and watched them laughing with their grandchildren that night. I went home and removed a few precious items from the boxes in the garage and told my husband he could dispose of the rest. I had the memories and treasures I would share with my grandchildren one day.