As I am dealing with all sorts of things concerning my mother’s business and preparing to empty her house of all ‘things’, I am struck with the truth I find in the following statement: “You cannot take anything with you when you die.”
I find that the sorts of things I want to keep are perhaps the most meaningless of all the ‘stuff’ they had. Going through her books (and when I say going through her books I mean books by the hundreds- and I am NOT exaggerating) I found a book that her and I read when I was only 13 years old. It was a book by Dr. Dobson for young boys and parents to read together. I absolutely HATED reading that book. Today I couldn’t bring myself to put it in the donation box headed to the local Adult Literacy Council. It is kind of funny when you think about it.
I found a letter that I had written my mother on her first day of teaching. She had laminated it and put herself a note at the bottom so that she could remember when I gave it to her. It is only a laminated sheet of paper with a note that would mean nothing to everyone else on the planet but me. How worthless is something like that?
Every book I picked up today had to be flipped through. I don’t know what I was looking for? I was just looking, looking for all that worthless ‘stuff’ that has no real value. I snatched up the smallest piece of paper and turned over every bookmark in search of anything meaningful. Some books were only saved simply because I discovered on some of their pages notes or thoughts of my mother’s; for some reason, even though I may never read them again, I could not throw them away.
I find it so odd because all of these things have no monetary value. Who would pay for a laminated note from a child to his mother? All these things however are valuable to me, but not to anyone else. So many people waist so much time earning money and buying ‘things’, they don’t realize, and if they do realize they forget, that none of these things will ever leave this earth.
I am going through my parent’s things, and there is SO much, but the only things that matter to me seem to be the smallest most insignificant items. Why?
I am thankful that my parents where not the type of people who spent their lives trying to keep ahead in the rat race of life. They did not stay away from our home working long hours to provide us with expensive, empty, and meaningless things. Of course, they had to learn that lesson, just like everyone else.
Shortly after my parents were married they moved to Florida. It was at that time that they had my sister, Michelle. My father was given an opportunity to go to another state and make three times the amount of money he was making in Florida. Seeing an opportunity to provide his family with ‘more’ he took the job. For three months he lived in another state sending money home and calling often. Three months after moving back to Florida, my sister died suddenly in her sleep. She was only six months old, and my father only knew her for three.
It was at that time that my mother said he made her a promise. He told her that he would do everything he could to provide for his family, but he would never leave her or their children in order that they would have ‘more’. He kept his promise. My brother and I never had everything we wanted, and we certainly never had everything everyone else did, but we did have everything we needed. Perhaps the thing we needed most was both of our parents and we had them, always.
‘Stuff’ and ‘Things’ get in the way for so many people. Far too many people have the most ridiculous amount of extravagant stuff and not enough laminated sheets of paper with hand written notes.
This next week we will be moving lots of ‘stuff’! I am going to keep myself offline as much as possible to allow myself every opportunity to be working during my free time. If you wonder where I am- I haven’t fallen off the end of the earth, not yet anyway- I’m just dealing with stuff!