Truly I tell you, wherever the gospel is preached throughout the world, what she has done will be told in memory of her. ~Mark 14:9
The photo above depicts garbage bags filled with clothes that my husband, Danny, and I plan to donate to Goodwill. Yes, we've spent the last several days down at Mom's house in Oxford, attempting to clean out all the closets brimming with clothes, shoes, purses, and other items worthy of a give-away. And as many bags as you see here, half that many are assigned to the throw-away category. That's how worn and unusable they are.
We end up with this much only because my mother couldn't bear to part with Dad's possessions after he passed in 2014. Of course, she did give items of clothing to my son, Daniel, who was the same size at the time, but the rest stayed hidden away as if awaiting his coming back to life.
It breaks my heart just as much to have to donate Dad's belongings, including a spanking-new tuxedo outfit, as it does my mom's. I feel like I'm experiencing his passing all over again.
While I go through closets, drawers and a large armoire that we would like to have, Danny tackles two cedar chests, and collects and organizes DVDs/VCR recordings so that my brother, Bill, can determine what he wishes to keep or throw away. He also gathers up the hangars the clothes hung on to donate to a dry cleaner.
I remember my Mom asking me years ago what one thing I would like to have of hers once she passes. Of course, I didn't like to hear her talk like that, even though the reality is inevitable. I tell her I want this sweater knitted by my father's sister, Mary Jane.
If you look closely, you can see the coffee stains on it. I'm hoping that with some treatment and tender loving care, I can restore the sweater to its original integrity.
Pouring through all these many items evokes memories that will ever remain with me. Exhausted and overwhelmed after a day of purging, this poem comes to be.
The house stands too empty without her
Yet rife with tangible objects, clutter
Shelves and drawers, closets overflow
Call for hands to cull and just let go
Worldly items, count it all as loss
Memories, the treasure not to toss
There is no earthly treasure that can take the place of precious memories. May we, like the woman who anointed the feet of Jesus, do for others in this life as unselfishly and lovingly as she did for the One who saves our souls, not our possessions.
Lord, help me, help us all, to let go of what doesn't matter in the eternal perspective.