They look like just things and boxes, but it's a trick. Every book I pack for Saturday's yard sale, every china cup I let go of, even as I discard the yearly calendars that span back twenty years: they are all alive. Not things at all.
I knew it was serious when I came across my daughter's tiny love letters and scribbles, written to me from her long ago kindergarten classroom that is no doubt much like the one her children now occupy; those same children who write me new love letters and scribbles. It's killing me to discard the old for the new, but I will not have room. I am moving and even if I managed to find extra space, it's time for me to rely on my memories as pure stardust and no longer on their physical substance.
My son-in-law's Father died two days ago. A freak terrible accident in his yard in Northern Maine, and his children and the wife he left but always loved must face a sudden loss with no good-bye. Anything can happen: I know that. This kind of instant grief insists that I remember the high cost of regret. It's important that I love now and that I make that love clear and unmistakable. It's important to do the right things.
I am moving from a wonderful house. Box by box it is being unraveled and yet even as it empties it is still proud and whole. The hot tub has been sold. Furniture is on Craig's List. Saturday we will have a giant yard sale with relief that we will be lighter at the end of the day (hopefully.) I am moving to a place I know by the sea and it is well familiar to me and yet, I have no real idea what my life will be like there. The last months and the next months ahead are filled with so much exhaustion that I can barely imagine unwinding into a true pace of leisure. I will still work and I will indeed finish my story of the Macabees and I only hope my bum knee and hip will let me walk more and take in the healing ocean air. I hope I will have new friends and be visited by my old friends and I know I will travel every other week across a long bridge and on a long highway to see my daughter and son-in-law and four small children who still squeal and run to me every time I arrive.
All of this and I have pneumonia! It's come from depletion and it is thankfully mild. In between packing and sorting and planning I rest on the couch and think about my luck of the draw. I now know I had very good parents. They are responsible for my core strength and integrity. I am no angel but I am honest and decent. Because I had very good parents.
I am glad to be here at my blog tonight. I have a home here. It too has changed but the stardust of my memories is forever. Good that I know that. I hope you know that too about your own stardust memories. Memories are gold. You can't go wrong sharing them.