Okay. Somewhere, one must draw the line.

For me, it’s the silver crowns from teeth my mother no longer has.

As late fall leaves from a maple slant slowly to the lawn, my wife and sister go through kitchenware and dining dishes from my mom, also in the late autumn or early winter of her life.

I’m in the other room, not wanting to sort through that stuff. I couldn’t tell you what is valuable and what is not. But just handling boxes and briefly unwrapped keepsakes as we pulled a portion of person’s life from one of those self-storage cubbyholes was enough to make me squirm. I’m not worthy, certainly not up to it.

It’s amazing the material my mom collected in her life, so far. She’s not collecting now, ensconced in a care center, but two persons are sifting through some of her stuff, exclaiming now and again over a particularly rare thing, a marker to be used to when stitching a dress from a Simplicity pattern, old dish clothes that can’t be bought anymore, virtually irreplaceable when drying dishes, dimpled glassware that was all the rage at some point that held mints and candy corn for visiting children and grandchildren.

And, the letters. Oh, the letters, handwritten with much, much love, as much as could be civilly expressed through the post. These will wait for our old age, probably, when we can’t do much more than sit and try to remember those folks who have gone before. They are the real treasure.

Four boxes have been sorted this a.m. Time to go back for more.

Wish me luck.


One thought on “Sorting

  1. I’ve been through it, and it’s an odd experience. My mother was a collector, and my dad, too. He was stamps and coins; she was glassware, pottery, and yarn. When she died, there were 27 large plastic containers filled with yarn and knitting/needlepoint accessories. Most are gone now, but two are in my closet.

    The hardest part was knowing that every, single thing had to be gone through. When my dad’s mother died, it was by sheer chance that an aunt found the money sewn into the hems of the living room drapes. There were hundreds of dollars. No tin can in the back yard for Grandma.

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