Tuesday, September 25, 2007

An Empty Echo

I packed up a life today, very unlike mine which is stuffed with every supply for every endeavor I've begun and lots of things I still think I might need, just in case. I'm still in, but hopefully beginning to grow out of, the gathering stage; with plans to do this and go here and make that...

Mom was in the remembering phase. What mementos she had remaining were not there by default, but because they had meaning. She didn't keep what she didn't want - so what was there, was desired.

A few things I recognized from my past, and a few from her younger years; a bowling towel from leagues played for years with her sisters, an ice cream scoop and tall sundae spoons left from the Tastee Freeze she and her husband owned...

There was still glassware and china tea cups and lots of cut glass bowls and platters for entertaining. I wonder why? Because they were just pretty?

All the jello molds were there with their histories of special molds for certain holidays and the old Tupperware marked in black permanent marker, V.F., because it had been used to carry things to pot lucks and church dinners. There were a bunch of mugs that said things about World's Greatest Mom and all the Bears and Bulls glasses we'd collected week by week from the grocery store or was it the gas station?

This is what I found left from a woman who had already pared down her life.

It was okay at first, then a bit overwhelming when I started going through it all and pulling it out, and then, in less than three hours with four sets of hands it was packed and all loaded in the back of my suburban - a car load representing a lifetime.

Then we were at the resale shop and in less than five minutes the boxes were off loaded and it was done and I thought, "so that's it" and it hung there poised between a question and a statement.

That's it.

And now, if I go back to the shop next week and look I'll find her things: the mom mugs, the Tupperware marked V.F., the china cups, all for a dollar or fifty cents - and that's it - the things saved by a woman into her 70's now for sale in a resale shop, pieces of what she treasured, for quarters.

Yes, I know that life is not about the stuff and that my mom's life and legacy go far beyond the things we packed in boxes today and that even the pittance gathered from her belongings will go to great use it will buy Bibles for missionaries so they can tell other's about Jesus and His love, I mean how cool is that? My mom would have loved that....

but my heart still sadly echoes, "so that's it....?......"


Anonymous said...

Excellent Work Becky.

#2 Fan

chrisd said...

Becky, let me tell you. You were blessed that your mother pared down as much as she did. You really are. Her hope was in her Lord and her hope was in the new home He was preparing for her.

God as a decorater? How cool is that thought?

How hard it must have been to go through that stuff. To handle it and remember.

You're right, that's why she kept all that stuff. To remember her sisters and her husband.

Love ya-