Today was one of those rare Saturdays that I did not have a set schedule. As the afternoon progressed, I headed for the attic to continue on in my organizational mode. I was bound and determined to clear out, organize, and clean. Let me tell you, I was so unprepared for what I found.
As I mother, I do ask for your help. What is a mother to do, when she has three married daughters who still have their "boxes" in our attic? It has been mentioned to them from time to time. I hear answers like, "wait until we have a bigger place", or "wait until we are out of school", or "we will get it all at the right time, really we will."
First thing I found was the middle daughter's "Precious Teddy" collection from years ago. They are sitting on the white wicker shelves in the corner of what used to be her room. She wants them for her little girl, but not yet. So, there they set, in all their cuteness...waiting to go to their next home.
As I examined them, the memories start flooding over me. I remember clearly when she first decided that she wanted to collect them, and then I remember how happy she was with each one she received. Quite honestly, like this little sign says, "my heart was starting to melt". The resolve I had in my heart as I marched up the stairs to begin my mission, was already starting to fade.
Then I opened the first box, and what did I find but the cutest little guys ever...the longed for, coveted "Beanie Babies" that ruled our youngest daughter's heart for a few years. Oh, how she treasured each and every one. She learned early on that the individual tags must stay on, to keep their value. As I looked over her collection, I smiled as I saw all the tiny white tags still attached. How could I possibly get rid of these adorable, soft, cuddly creatures? I felt the resolve melting even further.
Everything old that was Coca Cola...that is what our oldest daughter collected. Old Coke bottles, old wooden Coke crates, tins, signs...she treasured them all. Most of them she now displays in her home, but I did discover some remaining memorbilia in some of the boxes that I opened.
Now understand, in between these discoveries, I did come upon items that I found quite easy to discard, but others, as I've shared, seemed to have unexpected strings attached to them, and that I found a bit disconcerting.
I opened this box and there I found an array of beautiful sea shells, and suddenly without warning, my mind went back, and I saw little girls walking on the beach of Florida, and so happy to discover each and every sea shell. Excitedly they would run to me and share their every find. I felt tears, totally unexpected, as I remembered...
As I opened another filled box, this white banner fell to the attic floor. I looked down and saw the words "sophmore princess". Instantly, I pictured our oldest daughter, in her little black dress, walking down the field at the soccer game halftime, in the homecoming court. Things were going down hill for me, with each box or bag that was opened.
How did it happen that our girls saved so much of their lives, in our attic?
Then, the answer came, I discovered boxes from their great-grandmother, and realized she had the same malady. A coloring book of Mrs. Beasley was on top of the next box of magazines. It was a box that my mother, and their great-grandma had packed, along with...
...many old magazines. There was the lovely Joanne Woodward and her daughters, dated July 1971. Now, certainly I could throw this piece of history, into the trash, couldn't I? No, I could not. It is, at this moment, still in the same box, at the same spot of my attic. What is wrong with me? Why couldn't I just dispose of it? Why would I keep it? Who would want it? But, no I could not throw it away.
Same is true of my mother's treasured record albums. Really, Lawrence Welk's Most Requested T.V. Favorites? My mind immediately took me to the Saturday nights, when with our own daughter's were in their young years, we all sat, watched Mr. Welk's show, and ate popcorn. Yes, I also remembered their rolling eyes, and heavy sighs as to our choice of entertainment, but, nevertheless, the memories were so strong.
The box of photos was the last one I tackled, and at this point, I was emotionally spent. I saw this photo of the three precious daugthers that God had blessed us with. So much time had passed since this picture was taken, and so much change had transpired. I found myself progressing three steps and then back two steps. I do feel like I accomplished some of what I set out to do, but I discovered that the sentimentality that I didn't think I had, had risen to the surface, on this wintery Saturday afternoon. I like clean, I like organization, I like to get rid of, but...
the other side of me, just had to keep some of the treasures that I had come upon.
How about you? How do you find yourselves when in my situation?