What an enormous job! After such a turbulent three months with the deaths of my mom and brother, now I face another challenge of epic proportions ... going through boxes and boxes and boxes and boxes of their stuff, and deciding which little things to hold on to, which to give away, and what to throw away.
"It belonged to my mother," cannot be allowed as an excuse to hang on to something. Hey, I loved my mother but, face it, her tastes and mine came from two different planets. Most of the furniture left in her little apartment we left in the apartment when we cleared it out, as the facility has a fund-raising auction once a year to make money to improve their buildings and grounds. Still, it's unimaginable how much stuff is left to go through. Some of it hadn't been unpacked for ten or more years!
Same thing with my brother. He had as much stuff as Mom did! And most of it is in give-away bags and bins waiting for the next trip to Goodwill. Now, this doesn't count the dozens upon dozens more boxes that still fill up a self-storage unit.
This is all much harder than it sounds; I feel like I'm giving away and throwing away their lifetimes. Things that were important to them. Things they treasured. Sweet memories of homes and travels.
But they were Mom's and Tom's treasures, not mine. They were their memories, important to them in their own lives.
It makes it easier to put myself in the other end of the picture. I have things in my house that are precious to me, that I've had my whole life, that I enjoy every day, and that I'd be so sad to lose. But when it's time for Andy and Joey to go through my house, I know they wouldn't want to keep 99.9% of anything in here. These things are important to me, not to them, and I wouldn't want them to junk up their own lives with all my stuff. Maybe a few things here and there they'd enjoy keeping in the family, but they'd have to draw the line somewhere, and I hope they draw it early on.
Now Mike is facing exactly the same thing with one exception which makes it so much harder for him; his mom is still alive. Her house needs to be cleared out to sell, one that she lived in for 45 years and raised her family in. So many treasures are now just going by the wayside.It makes me appreciate to a far greater extent what Jesus said in Matthew 6 about not storing up treasures on earth. They'll be gone when you are. But rather, store up treasures in heaven where they'll last forever. Very deeply thought-provoking, isn't it?