Three drawers. For all the effort, you’d think I was working on a bipartisan peace agreement for the Middle East, or the solution for global warming, or the… the cure for cancer. Nope. Just three drawers that are now empty. It’s done. But “done” means “a decent start” here. It also means progress. Thankfully, the process wasn’t as hard as I thought it was going to be. It wasn’t easy, no, but it wasn’t bone-crushingly, heart-blender-ing hard. It was just plain ol’, regular hard.
It’s a rich, mixed bag of emotions digging through Maggie’s personal items and then throwing most of them away. She and me, we never dug through each other’s things. It wasn’t part of our relationship. What was hers was hers and mine was mine. Nuff said. There was certainly no need to dig around and the practice was supported by complete trust. That sanctity was never violated. At least until now. As I push (hard) to move forward, I’m forced into crevices and corners of her world I’ve never seen. No, no, I’m not uncovering any weird pornography stashes or smoking guns that hint at affairs unknown. (Funny, as I type that sentence I’m chuckling.) It’s more that I find I’m feeling that I’m stepping way beyond where we were as a couple into a place I’m not comfortable. It’s different, unpleasant, and mysterious. It’s no longer two worlds colliding, like we once had been. Now, it’s one world purging.
The emotions stirred by taking a favorite possession of Maggie’s and tossing it into the garbage is difficult to describe. Part of me feels like I’m doing something wrong and I’m going to get caught. Another part wishes a symphony would appear, surrounding me in overwhelmingly emotional music crescendoing into a dramatic scene where the rain was falling down, with lightening striking as the camera faced me from above as I screamed through my tears. Another part feels like I’m choosing to throw _her_ away. A very, very small part of me just wants to be done. Another part of me feels shame because that other little part wants to be done. Another part of me never wants to let go.
I’ve found so many things in the three drawers that scratch at questions I’ll never have answers to. Again, nothing at all scandalous. I’d just like to hear the story behind what I’ve found. When did she wear this? Where’d this come from? Oh, and this little number, there’s DEFINITELY a story about this silky thing. But the stories are gone now, taken away from me (and, arguably, some of them are none of my business.) Many of the items (including that spicy little number) are sitting outside in the trash can, waiting to be picked up and be taken away from me forever.
The other items are sitting in a bag by the back door waiting to be delivered to Safe Place where they will have a new life. Those items will join her socks and a few of her coats that I took to Safe Place last week. What a little box of stuff that was. What a huge, huge step. The little bag now waiting by the door is about the same size – not very big. But the effort and emotion that little bag represents, it’s a million times the size.
Step by step.
One thought on “Steps Forward”
when my Mom passed away in May, we rented a dumpster due to the fact there was just too much stuff to sort through. i was horrified each time i threw someting in there and even worse, when it would make a crashing sound against the metal. i know exactly what you are feeling! i probably kept way too many things of my mothers and now i have to make some heartfelt choices of what is really important to me. i wore her charm bracelet the other day and there was a date enscribed on the back of one of the charms. i have no idea what that date is and neither does anyone else. one of the many questions i have for her. after all this time, i still enjoy and relate so much to your blog. thank you for that.