Lost and Found

My husband and I are entering the homestretch of moving away from Houston. It’s painful and joyful at the same time. Selling the house we’ve outgrown is a relief, but I’ll miss my neighbors. I’ll favorite stores, restaurants, and the places my children went to school.

Most of all I’ll miss our friends, but hope they’ll come to visit.

My eldest son partially got the moving ball rolling when he asked why we were still in our big old house. Besides our friends and the comfortability of staying put, I had no valid answer.

In the mechanics of decluttering is dealing with belongings and memory. My grandmother Beatrice secretly eloped with my grandfather Asa, setting off generations of obsessing about property, estates, and valuing things over love.

I have relatives who value tables and chairs over family. It’s bloody, vindictive, and devastating. Some of the things in our two storage units are so loaded with family arguments I don’t know why I kept them. They are just things, and I’d much rather have love than things.

Back to decluttering. I’m a princess of chaos, and shove it into a shed or closet rather than deal with it. Well, the bill’s come due and all the chaos has to be dealt with, ASAP. None of it brings me joy.

I envy uncluttered minds who can set to a day of remorseless sorting and trashing. Ignore wired in habits imbued by Depression era family to “keep it in case you/someone needs it.” Or keep it because Aunt So-And-So owned it.

Aunt So-And-So had relatives who could come get it. I don’t. We don’t need a climate controlled shrine to family belongings. Or the bills that come from owning those shrines.

I wish I could look back on my mother’s family and see happy shared memories instead of anger over estates. No one had the sense to say “I love you more than Mamaw’s marble-topped table. And so the thorny vines of things over love took over. And a grownup like me is rendered, no paralyzed, with indecision and chaos.

Now is the time of my liberation. No time for tears or regret for letting go of things.

Wish me luck.

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