Yesterday I was sorting through some boxes in my garage that were saturated with water by the slight leak in the air conditioner unit that had gone unnoticed for weeks while dripping JUST ENOUGH to accumulate a small pool of moldy water precisely in the spot where the boxes of memorabilia are stored.
While holding back my tears from the moldy stench, I came across a box filled with my husband’s old trophies from his glory days of high school basketball stardom.
There were so many in there it looked as though the truck on the way to the Golden Globes bumped the road and detoured to Delray Beach on the way to the Red Carpet.
When we were dating, his friends would tell me saga’s of my husband’s sports legacy and being that he is such a modest man who hates attention, I would have to rely on them to tell me the stories about his winning the Maccabia championship at Madison Square Garden and other watershed events in a high school boys sports career.
Flash forward 20 years and there I stood questioning what to do with wet boxes filled with awards, Old photographs and high school love letters.
At what point do we allow ourselves to create MENTAL memories and discard PHYSICAL evidence that actually prove what created them?
I used to collect drawings and homemade pictures my kids made for me when they were toddlers. My firstborn would scratch a marking of color on a piece of paper and I would consider it a masterpiece – to me as a first time mom – she was BETTER than Picasso.
Then child number two came along and her artwork was just as special and preserved, albeit not as often, but still in its own place for safe keeping.
The came the first move from the New York City to New Jersey and all those pictures and knickknacks stored in boxes were discarded to make room for the newer memories. Then the second move from NJ to Florida and the newer ones stored in the attic were discarded.
Now, I am so anal about my ANTI CLUTTER CAMPAIGN that it is at the point where my kids come home from school with their art work, show it to me, excitedly declare :
“Look what I made for you Mommy!!!”,
I smile, tell them: “I LOVE IT!!” and then THEY throw it in the garbage THEMSELVES.
So there I stood in the garage, feet swimming in the mini flood, and took the wet photos and old trophies out of the wet box one by one, showed them to my kids, spoke about the memories and TOGETHER we threw them in the trash while talking about the NEW trophies THEY planned to EAARN and collect to store in their OWN garages when they are grown.
You don’t necessarily need a physical symbol to represent a fond memory, as long as you make certain to SPEAK about it , SHARE in the memory, and LEARN from the experience.
Today I plan to throw away MY old box of love letters from all my prior suitors. But first, I will scan them and post them on Facebook for all to enjoy. Just kidding ……- ( maybe.)