I am nearly 40 years old and today I took possession of the memorabilia of my life.

My husband, upon seeing the volume, and having already picked up The Truck for the end of LLV broke a bit of sweat.  So part of my task today was to make sure that what we were taking down made sense.  Mom had set aside the things of my younger years so I was basically taking on 1988 – about 2004. I knew the day was coming so I had set two phrases into my mind –

1.  The Thing Is Not The Memory (thanks mom, for this phrase)

2.  Save the photographs but don’t look at them.

A lot of stuff went away today under Rule #1 (with a sub-rule about how badly do I NOT want my son to need to deal with it in 40 years).

I’m lucky that my husband said, “Thank you for doing this hard work” every time I burst into tears and started singing the “This Sucks and I Hate It” song.

I’m lucky that all of the letters I’ve ever saved were still there (and still are – like pictures I just smiled at their existence and kept moving).

I’m lucky that whatever that red sticky stuff at the bottom of the footlocker was didn’t ruin anything except a tourist book of California.

Best bits of the bunch

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I barely believed I got to wear this jersey when I was in HS.  I was a smart band geek who has never ever cared about how her hair looked and he was the football captain —- that only happens in John Hughes films.  The fact that it is still in perfect shape makes me smile.

I found a tall skinny lighter of John’s and a wood sculpture by a college friend named David (that for the life of me I don’t know how I ended up with).

Mom had tucked away a school project called My Autobiography which I wrote before any damn thing had happened to me (except maybe catching the Beth Case fly ball).

The letters from Paul’s backwards “F” days.

Photographs that prove that this smile has always been mine, that my mom rocks a camera, and WAY more than once my man’s hair has been more elaborate (and better looking) than mine.

I kept some stuff from that era that will likely get thinned when I have some extra time, but there was just so much kindness and joy in all of those boxes.  Hard stuff too, and things that are tough because I know how the story ended now – but overall, when I look back, I am so very pleased to have known the people I have.

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